Patrick Bailey

Bailey caps off special day with huge game in Giants' win vs. D-backs

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SAN FRANCISCO – Patrick Bailey already was assured of having a good day even before he took his first swings on Saturday.

The Giants honored their young catcher with a bobblehead likeness of himself – Bailey’s first in the majors – that was handed out to the first 15,000 fans at Oracle Park.

The 24-year-old then went out and made the afternoon a whole lot better, both for himself and the Giants.

Bailey homered, singled, doubled twice and drove in three runs while pacing San Francisco to a 7-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“That dude’s unbelievable, there’s nothing else to say,” Giants starting pitcher Kyle Harrison said. “The guy’s the truth. If you can do that on your bobblehead night, that’s definitely a day to remember.”

Bailey’s big afternoon provided a big spark for San Francisco’s uneven offense. A day after being limited to four hits in a 17-1 blowout loss on Friday, the Giants broke out for a season-high 16 hits. They had multiple hits in five of the eight innings they batted and were set down in order only once.

It was the type of offense that Giants fans have been hoping to see all season, not just from the Giants but Bailey himself. He has been held hitless in six games already this year and had only driven in four runs over the team’s first 21 games.

Bailey went into Saturday mired in a 6-for-27 (.222) funk with eight strikeouts before busting out against the Diamondbacks.

“He’s a good player and he’s playing good right now,” manager Bob Melvin told reporters at Oracle Park. “Baseball gods probably shone down on him a little bit today. It was pretty cool. He gets a four-hit game, hits a ball in the bay, gets to sign a lot of bobbleheads before the game. Ended up being a day he’ll probably never forget.”

For several reasons.

It’s the second four-hit game of Bailey’s career. His home run into McCovey Cove off Zac Gallen in the fifth inning broke a 3-3 tie and was the first Splash Hit by the Giants this season.

Bailey is just the third Giants’ switch-hitter to drive a ball into the water and the first to do it since Pablo Sandoval in 2018. The ball had an exit velocity of 109.7 mph, the hardest hit of Bailey’s career.

Fittingly, it was as unique a home run hit into the cove as ever. The ball sailed over the brick wall in right field, cleared the concourse then landed perfectly in a kayak that was passing through.

“It’s all kind of in there for him,” Melvin said. “After the year that he had last year, a lot of confidence gained coming into this season, a guy that we really lean on and expect big things out of. Doesn’t surprise me.”

Bailey narrowly missed becoming the first Giants player to hit for the cycle since Sandoval made it happen against the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 15, 2011.

Facing Arizona pitcher Bryce Davis in the seventh inning, Bailey drilled a 3-2 cutter into left-center. Bailey raced around the bases and appeared as if he might be able to stretch the hit into a triple before the ball took a bounce and hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double.

“Disappointed might be a stretch but it’d have been cool to have an opportunity for it,” Bailey said sheepishly.

Bailey’s big day raised his batting average from .283 to .340, second-best among Giants’ everyday players behind LaMonte Wade’s .388 mark.

Equally important, Bailey has become quite comfortable working behind the plate while working with another slew of new pitchers.

“He’s taken the initiative to really study guys and know us more than we know ourselves sometimes,” said Harrison, who struggled through a rough outing before Bailey bailed the team out with his offensive highlights. “A guy that’s always talking to you off the field. He’s getting more vocal, he’s getting to know the guys more and more. Can’t say enough great things about him. Who knows where he’s going to be the next couple of years.”

As for the bobblehead, Bailey gave it a passing grade. It’s a replica of Bailey crouched down with a catcher’s mask atop his head. There also are small traces of a mustache and beard similar to the ones that Bailey has.

“I like it,” he said. “I think they did a pretty good job.”

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