SAN FRANCISCO — Rookie Patrick Bailey had four RBIs on his 24th birthday, boosting the San Francisco Giants to a 14-4 rout of Pittsburgh on Monday that dropped the Pirates under .500 for the first time since the opening weekend of the season.
Pittsburgh (26-27) has lost 19 of 25 games after a 20-8 start. The Pirates’ only other time under .500 was at 1-2.
Bailey, a catcher who debuted on May 19, was playing his ninth major league game. After hitting a go-ahead, two-run double against 43-year-old Rich Hill (4-5) in a five-run second inning, he added a two-run homer in an eight-run seventh for the Giants’ fifth consecutive hit against Cody Bolton.
Following a 5-2 trip to Minnesota and Milwaukee, the Giants won for the 11th time in 14 games — and for the 14th time in 19 home games.
Austin Slater, in his first game back from a hamstring injury, hit a two-run homer in the second and a two-run double in the seventh. Slater had his third game with four RBIs and first since 2019.
Bailey and Casey Schmitt, who have formed a dynamic duo of rookies since their promotions from Triple-A, each had three of the Giants’ 18 hits, as did Slater, Brandon Crawford and Mitch Haniger.
Bailey and Schmitt have provided an unexpected boost for an organization that has struggled to develop middle-order position players since Crawford, Brandon Belt and Buster Posey led the Giants to three World Series titles. Schmitt arrived on May 9 and played in his 20th big league game Monday.
“It’s unusual to have two rookies come up and have the type of sustained success that these two players are having,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “I imagine they’re having a shared experience around it. You can dream on the possibilities of these guys playing for a really long time together and looking back on this time when they first got called up to the major-leagues and propelled the team to win a lot of baseball games.”
Bailey said it was helpful to arrive in San Francisco from Triple-A Sacramento behind fellow rookies Schmitt and Wisely because he could tap them for their observations of this level.
“When I came up here it was really exciting to see Casey’s success right away from Sacramento and I’m sure it’s exciting for him,” Bailey said. “It’s a fun time right now.”
The Pirates are having the opposite experience as multiple players who guided them to the fast start have struggled.
“We’re dealing with a bunch of young players,” manager Derek Shelton said. “When it’s going well with young players everything is OK. When things go a little bit awry, we have to make sure we stay on track. We’ve got to continue to learn, we’ve got to continue to get better and we’ve got to get back on task a little bit.”
Jack Suwinski homered twice for the Pirates, joining Barry Bonds as the only players to hit two balls into McCovey Cove in one game. Suwinski hit his first against starter Anthony DeSclafani (4-4) in the seventh inning and the other against Brett Wisely, a position player who pitched the ninth inning.
DeSclafini gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings. He had been 0-3 in four starts since winning at Houston on May 2.
The game began with an unusual three-pitch inning against DeSclafani.
Tucupita Marcano led off with a double, and after Bryan Reynolds lined out to center, Andrew McCutchen hit a broken-bat fly to Slater in short left field that turned into a double play when Marcano took off from second and kept running.
Giants: Former Braves reliever Luke Jackson, whom the Giants signed as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, likely will be activated in the next few days, manager Gabe Kapler said. Jackson had a 1.98 ERA in 71 games Atlanta in 2021, his most recent year in the majors.
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