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Apr 27, 2024 9:26 am

Giants hope for another strong pitching performance vs. Pirates

Jordan Hicks

A flourishing bullpen and its struggling counterpart prepare for another potential duel Saturday night when the San Francisco Giants go for two in a row over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

After nearly identical outings by starters Kyle Harrison of the Giants and Quinn Priester of the Pirates turned a scoreless game over to the bullpens Friday, San Francisco saved all the game’s scoring for the bottom of the ninth inning in a 3-0 victory.

Both teams had few chances while Harrison and Priester matched zeroes for six innings before each squandered late-inning scoring opportunities leading into the ninth.

Camilo Doval pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth, teaming with Harrison and fellow relievers Ryan Walker and Tyler Rogers to complete the club’s second shutout of the season.

San Francisco’s Matt Chapman said he and his fellow hitters remain confident, despite a slow start mostly because the team’s pitchers have continually kept the club in the game. Patrick Bailey belted a three-run, walk-off homer in the ninth inning.

“The one thing I continue to see is the vibe in the dugout,” Chapman said. “Even though we haven’t been getting the job done, we all trust each other. We believe in ourselves.”

While the Giants’ relievers have done their job, the Pirates have seen their bullpen crew struggle. It continued in the series opener, not only when David Bednar failed to record an out in the ninth, but also an inning earlier when Aroldis Chapman gave up a single and two walks. Chapman, however, escaped unscathed after third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes made a rally-killing play on a hot shot by Jorge Soler that appeared headed for the left-field corner.

The shaky, but scoreless, inning lowered Chapman’s ERA to 6.00.

“It looks like he’s just moving a little fast,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said of Chapman. “This guy is a veteran; he’s done it. It looks like he is rushing his delivery. It’s like he (goes) back to get more (at times) and we know he doesn’t have to go back to get more. It’s just slowing him down a little bit.”

Hoping for more offensive support in the rematch will be right-hander Jordan Hicks (2-0, 1.61 ERA) of the Giants and left-hander Martin Perez (1-1, 3.45) of the Pirates.

Hicks, who previously pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals, is quite familiar with the former National League Central rival Pirates. He has pitched more games against them than any team other than the Cincinnati Reds, although all 19 appearances and 18 1/3 innings have been in relief.

He’s gone 1-3 with a 4.91 ERA in those games.

The Giants, meanwhile, will be going head-to-head with Perez for just the third time. In two previous starts, he’s gone 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA against San Francisco.

The left-hander hasn’t pitched in San Francisco since Oracle Park was called AT&T Park. He threw the first five innings, allowing four runs, in that 2018 game, which the Giants won 5-3.

–Field Level Media

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