Resurgent Joey Bart looks to face Giants for first time

Apr 26, 2024, 7:20 AM | Updated: 7:24 am

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 08: Joey Bart #14 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two-RBI single in the sec...

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Two teams dealing with the disappointments of veteran pitchers will turn to youngsters when the Pittsburgh Pirates and host San Francisco Giants open a three-game series on Friday.

Both teams are coming off losses. The Pirates fell to .500 with a 7-5 home loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, while the Giants failed to get to the break-even mark following an 8-2 drubbing dealt by the visiting New York Mets on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh was looking for a series win and held a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning on Thursday before veteran reliever Aroldis Chapman served up a two-run homer to former teammate Gary Sanchez.

The good news for the Pirates was the continued strong play of catcher Joey Bart, who never lived up to his billing after being selected with the No. 2 overall pick by the Giants in the 2018 draft.

Bart bounced from minors to majors for four consecutive seasons, hitting .219 as a Giant in 162 games, before getting dealt to the Pirates earlier this month for minor-leaguer Austin Strickland.

More on former Giants catcher Joey Bart

The 27-year-old Bart already has made seven starts for Pittsburgh, hitting .304 with three homers and eight RBIs. One of those homers, a three-run shot, came while batting clean-up in the first inning Thursday against the Brewers’ Freddy Peralta.

Bart had only 11 homers in 503 plate appearances for the Giants.

“I’ve been at the highs and been at the lows,” Bart said of his career. “I feel like I can bring that forward with me and learn from all those experiences. I’m feeling great, super confident.”

Bart has never faced Kyle Harrison (2-1, 5.00 ERA), the Giants’ scheduled starter Friday, but they did work together as batterymates in the left-hander’s fourth career start last September, a 9-8 home win over the Colorado Rockies.

Harrison has gone on to make eight more starts, including five this year that have been remarkably consistent. He has allowed three runs in each of his past three outings, with the Giants winning two of the three.

The 22-year-old has never faced the Pirates. He has never lost at home, going 1-0 in six starts.

The Giants had Thursday off, allowing them to give their bullpen a break after seven relievers had to work Wednesday’s loss to the New York Mets following scheduled starter Blake Snell getting scratched with a strained left adductor.

Counted upon to be an anchor to the Giants’ starting staff, Snell was placed on the 15-day injured list.

“Hasn’t been our best day,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said of the double whammy of losing a game and a pitcher. “Nothing we can do about it now except try to patch it up and pitch better on that turn.”

The Pirates suffered a similar loss earlier this month when one of their top pitchers, Marco Gonzales, landed on the injured list with a strained left forearm.

Right-hander Quinn Priester (0-1, 8.31), summoned from Triple-A to replace Gonzales, is scheduled for his second start of the year in the series opener.

The 23-year-old made his season debut in an 8-1 home loss to the Boston Red Sox last Friday, a game in which he served up home runs to Wilyer Abreu, Triston Casas and Rob Refsnyder. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned).

Priester has never faced the Giants but did record his only career road win against Melvin’s San Diego Padres last July.

–Field Level Media

Upcoming schedule for the San Francisco Giants

  • Friday, April 26th-Sunday, April 28th – vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Tuesday, April 30th-Thursday, Mary 2nd – @ Boston Red Sox
  • Friday, May 3rd-Monday, May 6th – @ Philadelphia Phillies
  • Tuesday, May 7th-Thursday, May 9th – @ Colorado Rockies
  • Friday, May 10th-Sunday, May 12th – vs. Cincinnati Reds

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