The red-hot Cain looks to again lead the playoff-contending Giants (74-75) to a badly needed victory when he takes the mound for a rematch with the Rockies at Coors Field on Tuesday.
The right-hander pitched eight innings and allowed just two hits with seven strikeouts in Thursday’s 5-0 win over Colorado. Cain (13-9, 3.75 ERA) will be looking to extend his winning streak to six starts since an Aug. 12 loss. He has an 0.21 ERA over that span.
“Some kind of pitcher, huh?” Giants manager Felipe Alou said after the victory over the Rockies. “That’s what you call controlling the game. That curveball, he’s throwing it where they have to swing at it. In my mind, he’s as good as anybody.”
Cain hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts, and has allowed just one unearned run in his last 42 innings.
The right-hander has won all three of his starts against Colorado this season with a 1.31 ERA, and San Francisco will look to him to continue that dominance as it tries to pull closer to a playoff spot. The Giants, third in the wild-card race, are four games behind San Diego and 4 1/2 behind NL West-leading Los Angeles.
Although the Giants have a shot at the playoffs, they’ve hardly been competitive since Cain’s last outing. San Francisco dropped its next two games to St. Louis, and Monday’s series open to Colorado, by a combined score of 40-13.
Cain has had little trouble with Colorado at AT&T Park, but he’ll be pitching just his second game at hitter-friendly Coors Field and first this season. The right-hander, though, did well in his one start in Denver, throwing six innings of one-run ball in San Francisco’s 6-2 win Sept. 25. He did not earn the decision.
While Cain put together a strong effort in that outing, he’ll be facing the Rockies one day after they pounded the Giants in record fashion, winning 20-8.
The Rockies (70-80) had a season-high 19 hits and tied the club mark for runs, reaching 20 for the third time.
“See it, hit it,” said Baker, who also had a double. “I just want to play well.”
The Rockies will counter Cain with Jason Jennings (8-12, 3.61), who’s 1-0 with a 6.38 ERA in three starts against the Giants this year. Colorado won all three of those outings.
Jennings defeated San Francisco 9-8 in his last start Wednesday, giving up five runs in 5 1-3 innings. He’s 7-4 with a 5.73 ERA in 18 starts against the Giants.
Giants left fielder Barry Bonds is hitting .400 (12-for-30) with two home runs against Jennings. He hit a solo shot for his 732nd career homer against Brian Fuentes in Wednesday’s loss, the last time Bonds homered.
The Rockies are last in the NL West but have won nine of 16 against San Francisco this season.