A road trip that started with such promise has quickly gone downhill for the Giants.
After starting their road trip with a win over the Washington Nationals, Bruce Bochy's club now has lost three straight heading into Saturday's game against the National League's best team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Giants opened the series against the Pirates in disappointing fashion, as Madison Bumgarner gave up four runs in six innings in the Pirates' 4-1 win Friday night.
Despite the skid, Bochy's lineup for Saturday will look quite similar to the one in the series opener, with Buster Posey hitting third and Brandon Belt hitting cleanup.
Derek Holland will get the start for the Giants. The left-hander is coming off a loss to the Colorado Rockies when he allowed four runs in six innings. Prior to the loss to the Rockies, Holland had not allowed more than three earned runs in a start this season.
The Pirates will counter with right-hander Jameson Taillon, who recorded a win over the Nationals in his last start, allowing three runs in seven innings.
Here are the full lineups for Saturday's Giants vs. Pirates game:
San Francisco Giants (8-13)
1. Steven Duggar (L) RF
2. Gerardo Parra (L) LF
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
5. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Kevin Pillar (R) CF
8. Joe Panik (L) 2B
9. Derek Holland (S) LHP (1-2, 4.09 ERA)
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Pittsburgh Pirates (11-6)
1. Cole Tucker (S) SS
2. Jung Ho Kang (R) 3B
3. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
4. Josh Bell (S) 1B
5. Bryan Reynolds (S) CF
6. JB Shuck (L) RF
7. Pablo Reyes (R) 2B
8. Jason Martin (L) LF
9. Jameson Taillon (R) RHP (0-2, 3.43 ERA)
SAN FRANCISCO -- For several days, the Giants listed Monday's starter as "TBA," leading to speculation that they would try an opener for a second straight week. Instead, it will be a familiar starter.
Left-hander Andrew Suarez will be recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to make his first big league start of the season. Suarez made 29 starts for the Giants last season, posting a 4.49 ERA in a rookie season that was a bit better than the final numbers indicated.
Suarez did not make the rotation out of camp and has a 6.33 ERA in six minor league starts. He missed more than two weeks with a hamstring strain and has given up seven earned runs in 8 2/3 innings since returning to Triple-A Sacramento.
"I'm sure he's chipping a little rust off," manager Bruce Bochy said. "A day like this, especially for a guy that made as many starts as he did, can be pretty uplifting and fire a guy up. We need a starter tomorrow and with his experience and what he did last year, this makes sense for us."
With Suarez and Shaun Anderson set to go the first two games against the Braves, the Giants will have taken a look at all four young pitchers who could be part of a future rotation. Dereck Rodriguez and Tyler Beede already have gotten a look and been optioned. Both are in Triple-A, currently.
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Given the state of the roster, it's possible either Suarez or Anderson is sent back to Triple-A after his start. Bochy said the young pitchers know the deal.
"I think they see it around baseball and they understand it," he said.
Erik Kratz is no longer in the Giants organization.
Three days after San Francisco designated the veteran catcher for assignment, the Giants traded the 38-year-old to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin first reported the news Thursday, and the Giants announced the news shortly thereafter.
On Monday morning, the player to be named was announced as minor league pitcher Matt Seelinger. He'll report to Class A Augusta.
The Giants traded for Kratz in late March, wanting a veteran backup for Buster Posey while Stephen Vogt recovered from shoulder surgery. 26-year-old catcher Aramis Garcia still had minor-league options, so the front office looked for a more-polished stopgap.
But Kratz struggled in his short time wearing orange and black, slashing .125/.222/.281 in 36 plate appearances. He also made more errors (four) in 11 games behind the dish than he did in 61 with the Brewers (three) in 2018, and caught two out of nine runners stealing.
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The Kratz trade was not the only move the Giants made at the position Thursday. They also optioned Garcia to Triple-A Sacramento in anticipation that Posey will return to the lineup Friday after a stint on the seven-day concussion list.