The Pittsburgh Pirates are fully aware of how well Sandoval hits at AT&T Park.
Sandoval looks to build on another stellar performance in front of the home crowd and help the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates for a seventh straight time at AT&T Park on Tuesday night.
After needing 14 games to reach the six-win mark in each of the previous three seasons, San Francisco notched its sixth victory of 2010 in just its seventh contest with an easy 9-3 win over the Pirates on Monday.
“We got some runs early,”’ manager Bruce Bochy said.
Sandoval has been instrumental to San Francisco’s fast start, hitting .414 with six runs on the season. He also had a lot to do with how well the Giants played at AT&T Park last season.
San Francisco was an NL-best 52-29 at home in 2009 with Sandoval leading the way with a league-best .361 home batting average. As impressive as that average is, it actually pales in comparison to what he’s doing against the Pirates (3-4) at AT&T Park.
The Giants have won six straight home games over Pittsburgh with Sandoval batting .619 with three doubles, eight RBIs and five runs.
San Francisco was 13-4 when Cain took the mound at AT&T Park in 2009 with the right-hander recording a 2.72 ERA in those games.
After making the NL All-Star team last season by going 14-8 with a 2.89 ERA in 33 starts, Cain gave up four runs and six hits with five strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings of Wednesday’s 10-4 win over Houston.
While Cain was a little shaky in his season debut, he seems to have a good chance of bouncing back against the Pirates.
In two starts against Pittsburgh last season, Cain went 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA. In the game he didn’t get a decision, the right-hander allowed three hits in nine innings of a 1-0, 10-inning home victory July 29.
Although Cain has emerged as one of the best young pitchers in the majors, Pirates scheduled starter Paul Maholm(notes) (0-1, 6.00) is probably glad he gets to oppose him and not the reigning two-time NL Cy Young Award winner.
Maholm squared off against Tim Lincecum(notes) in both of his starts versus the Giants last season, leaving the left-hander with little margin for error. Maholm pitched well, recording a 2.57 ERA, but Pittsburgh’s offense had little answer for Lincecum. Maholm received three total runs of support over 14 innings and went 0-1.
In his career, Maholm is 1-1 with a 2.85 ERA in six starts against San Francisco.
This will be Maholm’s second start of the season after yielding four runs and six hits in six innings of a 10-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.
The Pirates have lost four of five after opening the season with back-to-back victories.