Giants 3, Rockies 1
Matt Cain hasn’t gotten much run support throughout his career.
The San Francisco right-hander has been solid, though, when the
Giants score at least three for him.
San Francisco hit that mark exactly against Colorado and Cain
made it hold up, scattering four hits over seven innings to help
the Giants beat the slumping Rockies 3-1 on Friday night. That
upped Cain’s mark to 15-0 over the past two seasons when getting
three runs or more behind him.
”I think most starters feel that way, if you get a two- or
three-run lead, that’s set in our mind that we want to keep that
lead,” Cain said. ”I felt good. I really was just trying to
concentrate on making pitches and worry about location more than
velocity. That kind of helped me out with getting my mechanics
right and getting into a little bit of a groove.”
Cain had seven strikeouts while overcoming a season-high four
walks. Two of the hits he allowed were to Colorado pitcher Juan
Nicasio, who doubled twice.
Beyond that, Cain was nearly unhittable. The right-hander
pitched with runners in scoring position for four straight innings
but allowed just the one run and retired the final seven batters he
faced to earn only his second win since April 15.
”I thought he got better as he went,” Giants manager Bruce
Bochy said. ”He made a couple of mistakes to the pitcher but
overall that’s a great effort by Matty, which we needed. He just
stayed away from making too many mistakes and that’s a key for
Cody Ross hit a go-ahead two-run double in the fourth, rookie
Brandon Crawford added an RBI double and Emmanuel Burris had three
hits for the Giants, who beat the Rockies for the sixth time in
nine games this season between the NL West rivals.
The Giants returned home after taking three of four from NL
Central-leading St. Louis and picked up where they left off,
sending the Rockies to their 11th loss in 14 games.
San Francisco did it much like it beat the Cardinals – with
solid pitching and timely hitting.
Cain, who allowed a career-high 11 hits in a 6-0 loss to
Milwaukee on Sunday, kept Colorado’s hitters silent most of the
game while Ross and Crawford sparked the Giants’ three-run
That spoiled the road debut of Rockies rookie starter Juan
Nicasio (1-1), who allowed nine hits in six innings with three
strikeouts and an intentional walk.
”The kid has to pay for two hanging sliders, both with two
outs,” Colorado manager Jim Tracy said of Nicasio. ”He did an
excellent job. Our trouble, once again, came from the lack of
Javier Lopez pitched a scoreless eighth and Brian Wilson worked
the ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances.
It wasn’t easy, but that’s generally the case with Wilson. The
two-time All-Star closer walked Chris Iannetta with one out then
gave up a single to pinch-hitter Jason Giambi. Pinch-hitter Ryan
Spilborghs flied out to center before Wilson struck out Seth Smith
to end it.
Nicasio got the Rockies first hit off Cain when he doubled down
the right field line with one out in the third. Cain returned the
favor with a one-out single off Nicasio in the bottom of the
Cain (4-4) matched his season-high for walks by the fourth
inning, and Colorado cashed in one for a run. Carlos Gonzalez
walked, took third on a double by Troy Tulowitzki and scored on
Todd Helton’s groundout.
San Francisco responded quickly.
Ross hit a two-run double and Crawford added an RBI double to
give the Giants a 3-1 lead in the fourth.
Nicasio became the first pitcher in the majors this season with
two extra base hits in the same game when he doubled over the head
of center fielder Andres Torres leading off the fifth. The Rockies
later loaded the bases with two outs as rain began to fall but Cain
retired Helton on a comebacker to escape the threat.
Before the game the buzz at AT&T Park centered around
comments made by Giants general manager Brian Sabean on a local
radio station on Thursday regarding the season-ending injury
suffered by catcher Buster Posey following a collision with
Florida’s Scott Cousins on May 25.
Sabean criticized Cousins on his weekly radio show on KNBR,
calling the play malicious and unnecessary. Sabean also said ”if I
never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn’t play another day in
the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy.”
Those comments got the attention of Major League Baseball, and
executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre spoke
with Sabean on Friday. The Giants also issued a statement saying
Sabean’s comments were made out of frustration.
”It’s still a pretty raw emotional time for us,” team
president Larry Baer said. ”I mean, to lose (Posey) for the
season, a guy who means so much to us. Having said that, we’re
looking forward and we’re looking forward to Buster’s recovery.
We’re certainly out of the business of talking about the incident
and revisiting it other than we think it’s healthy dialogue to talk
about what can be done to protect the player.”
Notes: Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval began a rehab assignment with
Class A San Jose and could rejoin the team soon. Bochy said he
wants Sandoval – on the DL since May 1 with a fractured hamate bone
in his right wrist – to get 25-30 at-bats in the minors before
returning to the big league club. … Struggling IF Miguel Tejada,
who went 4 for 27 on the Giants’ recent trip, was not in the
starting lineup but not because of his .211 average. Bochy said he
gave Tejada the day off to rest and will be back in the order
Saturday. … Colorado LHP Jorge De La Rosa underwent Tommy John
surgery in Los Angeles on Friday and results were good. … RHP
Aaron Cook, out since March 31 with a fractured right index finger,
is penciled in to start for Colorado against San Diego on
Wednesday. … Rockies RHP Esmil Rogers (lat strain) threw 67
pitches in extended spring training but the team is unsure where
he’ll go next in his rehab.