Bailey hits birthday homer in Giants' win over Pirates

May 30th, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO -- ’s 24th birthday started out pretty well. It ended even better.

The rookie catcher smacked a two-run double in the second inning before hammering a two-run homer in the seventh as the San Francisco Giants clobbered the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-4 Monday afternoon.

“It was fun,” Bailey said. “Obviously, it’s somewhat of a special day, so to be able to have success and then get a win, it meant a little bit more, I guess.”

Bailey added a single in the eighth to go 3-for-5 and improve his batting average to .355 with two homers and 11 RBIs in his first nine Major League games.

He also became the first Giants player to homer on his birthday since Brandon Belt last April against the Mets and the first with at least four RBIs on his birthday since Marlon Byrd in 2015.

“It was a nice birthday present to himself,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “He was raking and he was stealing strikes and leading the way since he’s been here. Pretty impressive start to his Major League career. I’m sure he couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his birthday.”

Bailey also guided San Francisco starter Anthony DeSclafani through seven strong innings. The right-hander limited Pittsburgh to three runs to snap a personal three-game losing streak and improve to 4-4.

“Very young but [he] seems very mature beyond his years,” DeSclafani said of Bailey. “Seems like he’s been doing it for a while. Definitely a great quality to have. Seems like he carries that confidence behind the dish and he’s been swinging it well at the plate.”

DeSclafani has lasted at least five innings in each of his first 11 starts this season, allowing two walks or fewer in each, tied for the third-longest streak in franchise history.

The Giants' lineup provided plenty of run support, jumping ahead 5-0 in the second inning and adding a run in the fourth and eight in the seventh, the team’s highest-scoring inning in more than two years.

“I thought it was a really good team effort,” Kapler said. “I thought, up and down the lineup, we had guys swinging the bat and driving in runs, getting big hits and supporting one another.”

Added DeSclafani: “That was awesome to see. Really good. I think we’ve been hitting the ball really well so let’s just hopefully keep that going.”

Austin Slater returned from the injured list to go 3-for-6 with a home run and four RBIs. Mitch Haniger, Casey Schmitt and Brandon Crawford also had three-hit games as the Giants (28-26) won for the 11th time in their last 14 games.

“We’re getting contributions from everybody on the team,” Kapler said. “We’re not just waiting for one or two people to come up with the big hit.”

San Francisco has scored 37 runs in just the last four games and the 14 runs on Monday marked the club’s largest home outburst since a 15-2 win over the Phillies in 2015.

“We’ve been swinging it really good, whether putting up a lot of hits or runs, or getting the big hits that we needed,” Bailey said. “Keep it rolling.”

The Giants will try to do just that Tuesday night in the second game of the series. But first, Bailey has some big plans for the rest of his birthday.

“Just hanging out with my wife and little girl,” he smiled.

Not a bad 24th birthday at all.