SAN FRANCISCO — After nearly five years, Matt Cain finally ended his April drought.
Cain allowed one run over five-plus innings in his first victory since last August, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 on Wednesday night for their first series win of the season.
It was far from a vintage performance by Cain, but considering the way the past few years have gone, the Giants and their former ace will take it.
“He just bowed his neck and went out there and pitched very well,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “That was just a huge outing for him and a good one to build on.”
Cain had not won in April since 2012 — a span of 19 starts — before beating the Diamondbacks for the 15th time in his career.
“I could tell that my stuff was moving good,” Cain said. “Even in the first inning it was just a little off the plate and guys were being patient. I had to show those guys that I was going to be able to throw strikes and get them swinging a little bit.”
Denard Span had two hits and drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth off Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller (1-1). Jarrett Parker added a two-run triple for San Francisco.
Cain (1-0) overcame a shaky start after allowing a run in the first inning and retired 10 of 11 during one stretch. The right-hander struck out six and walked three before leaving after giving up a leadoff double and a walk to open the sixth.
Cory Gearin struck out three straight batters to end the inning.
“That was the big turning point in the game,” Cain said. “That was huge, Cory coming in and bailing me out.”
Cain also helped himself at the plate when he doubled and scored on Span’s single in the fifth.
Jake Lamb went 3 for 4 with a walk to extend his hitting streak to nine games for Arizona.
The Diamondbacks were attempting to match their 8-2 start from 2008 but lost to San Francisco for the third time in seven games.
Miller allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.
“This loss is definitely on me because I was in a groove and felt really good and just kind of gave it away,” Miller said. “At the end of the day, I just didn’t make quality pitches. It got away from me.”
In addition to driving in Arizona’s first run, right fielder David Peralta made a key play in the fourth when he caught Joe Panik’s fly ball while skidding along the edge of the warning track. Peralta was attempting to stop after drifting back on the outfield grass but couldn’t keep his feet still. He caught the ball and held on, then glanced over his shoulder at the skid marks before jogging off the field.
Diamondbacks head to Los Angeles where RHP Zack Greinke (1-0) will square off against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Friday in the first matchup between the two former teammates and Cy Young Award winners.