Giants Observations

What we learned as Bailey crushes walk-off homer to lift Giants

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SAN FRANCISCO – Patrick Bailey hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off victory, lifting the Giants to a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night at Oracle Park.

Michael Conforto began the rally with a leadoff walk against Pirates reliever Davis Bednar (1-2). Conforto was helped by a pitch clock violation by Bednar after he fell behind 1-2.

Pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores followed with a four-pitch walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Bailey then stepped in and drove a 1-1 fastball into the arcade above the brick wall in right field for the game-winner.

It’s the second walk-off win by the Giants (13-14) this season. Thairo Estrada hit a game-ending double against the San Diego Padres on April 5 for the other.

Closer Camilo Doval (2-0) got the win after pitching out of a major jam in the top of the ninth. Pittsburgh (13-14) loaded the bases with one out before Doval got Bryan Reynolds to hit a sharp comebacker that Doval turned into a 1-2-3 double play.

Bailey’s heroics came on a night when the Giants offense scuffled most of the way against a pitcher that hasn’t accomplished much during his brief MLB career.

Here are the takeaways from Friday’s game:

Another no-decision

Kyle Harrison was much more effective and pitched deeper into the game than he did in his previous start, but the result was the same – a no-decision. It’s the third time in his last four starts that the Giants’ left-hander exited without a W or L.

Harrison didn’t have the luxury of cruising through any of the innings he worked but he managed to keep a clean stat line.

The Pirates had runners on base in each of the first four innings and twice got a runner to third but failed to push anyone across the plate.

Harrison allowed five hits over six scoreless innings. He didn’t walk anyone and had seven strikeouts, equaling as many Ks as he had over his two previous outings combined.

An offensive offense

Facing a pitcher who carried an 8.31 ERA into the game, the Giants’ offense might as well have been on the back of a milk carton because it was missing all night.

Pirates right-hander and former first-round pick Quinn Priester, who began the season in the minors, looked like the second coming of Greg Maddux most of the night while effectively throwing a blanket over San Francisco’s bats.

Priester, whose career single-game high for strikeouts is seven, fanned four during the first time through San Francisco’s order. He retired 11 in a row during one stretch and only allowed two runners past first base. This marked the first time in Priester’s 10 career starts that he has not allowed a run. That dropped his ERA all the way down to 3.48.

The inconsistency of the Giants offense has been extremely frustrating for players and fans alike this season, and for good reason. They were retired in order in five of the first seven innings Friday night.

Soler outage

Clean-up hitter Jorge Soler was signed to add some explosiveness to San Francisco’s offense, but the wait continues.

Soler, whose four home runs are second among Giants players this season, had a very quiet night at the plate in the series opener against Pittsburgh. He grounded out twice and struck out twice, raising his team-leading total to 28.

The most frustrating ABs for Soler were his last two. In the sixth inning after the Giants got two on with one out. He got ahead in the count 2-0 before coming up blank on three consecutive swings. Then in the eighth, he came up with the bases loaded and drilled a sharp grounder that was clocked at 103.3 mph. Pirates Gold Glove third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes made a great stop then threw to first for the out.

Soler now is hitting .219 this season.

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