Matt Cain isn’t entirely to blame for his winless start.
While the right-hander looks to avoid losing four straight outings for the first time in seven seasons Wednesday, he also must try to keep the San Francisco Giants from being swept in a road series of at least three games by the Colorado Rockies for the first time in 12 years.
Though Cain (0-3, 2.88 ERA) is off to the worst start of his 10-year career in terms of record, he’s yielded two or fewer earned runs in three of his four starts – all San Francisco losses. He’s surrendered one earned run total while giving up four hits and striking out eight in seven innings during each of the last two.
Cain gave up an unearned run on a passed ball in the first inning of a 2-1 loss at San Diego on Friday. That came after he allowed the earned run during a 1-0 home loss April 12 that dropped him to 6-1 with a 2.85 ERA in his last eight starts against Colorado (12-10).
"It’s tough," Cain said. "Any way you lose, it’s not fun."
Cain, who has been given six runs of support while on the mound in 2014, last dropped four straight starts June 10-27, 2007.
Losers in five of six overall, the Giants (11-10) haven’t suffered a three-game sweep at Coors Field since May 24-26, 2002.
Hunter Pence homered for San Francisco, but Madison Bumgarner allowed home runs to Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado during a strong eight-inning performance in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss.
"I’m not frustrated for myself. We should be winning all these games right now but just going through a rough patch," Bumgarner said. "We’ve got a lot of potential. No matter how good you are you’re going to go through times like this."
Pence is 4 for 8 in the series after going 0 for 9 while San Francisco lost two of three at San Diego over the weekend.
Though Pence is batting .346 (9 for 26) with three home runs and six RBIs in his last six games in Denver, he’s 0 for 14 against Colorado starter Tyler Chatwood (1-0, 2.77).
The right-hander allowed an unearned run and two hits in seven innings of a 12-1 rout of Philadelphia on Friday.
"When I see his fastball down and I see the hitters pounding it into the ground, that’s when you know it’s probably going to be a good night for him," manager Walt Weiss told the Rockies’ official website.
That performance was much better than his season debut April 13, when he gave up four runs and six hits in six innings of a 5-4, 10-inning loss at San Francisco. Chatwood, who missed the first two weeks of the season with a strained hamstring, is 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA in six starts against the Giants.
Tulowiztki’s home run is his only hit in 13 at-bats against San Francisco this season. He’s faced Cain the most in his career, going 19 for 60 (.317) with four homers, five doubles and a triple but has one hit in their last seven matchups.