The 22-year-old right-hander will again try for his first win of 2007, as the Giants go for a third straight victory and a sweep of their two-game series with the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday at Coors Field.
In his most recent outing, Cain (0-1, 2.77 ERA) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished with just one run, one hit and five walks allowed in seven innings of work, but wound up on the losing end of a 1-0 decision at San Diego on April 9.
“Somebody (in the stands) might have yelled something in the fifth or the sixth, but that’s not the big deal,” Cain told the Giants’ official Web site about his bid for a no-hitter. “I was worried about keeping guys off base.”
Cain, who went 13-12 with a 4.15 ERA in 2006 - his first full major league season - has given the Giants (4-7) a chance to win both of his 2007 starts, allowing four runs and six hits in 13 innings. However San Francisco has scored just three total runs for him.
Things could be different Tuesday.
San Francisco had a season-high 13 hits in an 8-0 win over Colorado on Monday, giving high-priced free agent acquisition Barry Zito his first win with the club.
The Giants, who managed only 20 runs in their first nine contests, have plated 16 with 24 hits in their last two. Since poor weather wiped out all but one game of a weekend series in Pittsburgh, Monday was San Francisco’s first game since an 8-5 win over the Pirates on Friday.
“The offense did a great job,” said Zito, who along with three relievers handed Colorado its first home shutout since losing 1-0 to Milwaukee last Aug. 1.
Aurilia raised his batting average to .341 by recording a hit in his ninth straight game. Durham has hit safely in all 11 games this season.
Todd Helton had three of Colorado’s six hits Monday to raise his average to .340. He is 9-for-17 (.529) with six RBIs in his last four games, but is just 2-for-13 with a homer lifetime against Cain.
The Rockies (5-8) are trying to avoid a fourth straight loss as they enter the second contest of a seven-game homestand.
“We are not playing the way that we believe we can play,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “We have to continue to believe what we believe in, but you can’t let your confidence get swayed.”
Rookie Jason Hirsh (1-1, 3.09) will make his Coors Field debut and first career appearance against the Giants when he takes the mound Tuesday.
The right-hander was 3-4 with a 6.04 ERA in nine starts last season for Houston. On Wednesday, he allowed three runs and six hits in five innings but didn’t get any run support in Colorado’s 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.