San Francisco (16-10) at Miami (13-14)

Fair Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 90° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Thu May 6, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

There was nothing wrong with Matt Cain’s(notes) performance in his first four starts, but the right-hander didn’t display the dominant repertoire that the San Francisco Giants are used to seeing.

He made up for it in his first start in May.

Cain allowed one hit while picking up his first win in commanding fashion last time out, and he’ll look to build on that as he tries to help the visiting Giants complete a three-game sweep of the Florida Marlins on Thursday night.

Cain (1-1, 2.84 ERA) lasted at least seven innings in 17 of his 33 starts when he made the NL All-Star team last season, but he only pitched into the seventh once in his first four outings of 2010 while failing to win.

That changed Saturday against Colorado. Cain allowed only a fourth-inning double and three walks over eight shutout innings, striking out eight in a 6-1 victory.

“It felt good obviously to start this month off a little different than last month,” said Cain, who’s 2-0 with a 2.88 ERA in five starts against Florida. “I located the ball well.”

The Marlins (13-14) have already seen excellent performances from both San Francisco starters this week as the Giants (16-10) have guaranteed a fourth straight series victory.

Tim Lincecum(notes) struck out 13 over seven innings Tuesday before Sergio Romo(notes) blew the lead late, and San Francisco rallied to win 9-6 in 12 innings.

Barry Zito(notes) held Florida to one run over seven-plus innings Wednesday but was saved from three other potential runs. Romo relieved Zito with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth, but worked out of the jam before Brian Wilson(notes) closed out a 3-2 victory.

“Coming off last night, a lot of guys would have been defeated out there,” Zito said. “Romo has as much courage and tenacity as any guy I’ve played with.”

Cain will be opposed by Ricky Nolasco(notes) (2-1, 4.01), who’s been much better on the road than at home. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.90 ERA away from Sun Life Stadium and 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA at home.

Nolasco gave up five runs and eight hits over four innings in a 7-1 loss to Washington on Friday.

“He got some pitches up. He looked like he wasn’t the Ricky that we’ve seen,” manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Marlins’ official website. “He struggled through four innings. Now we move on to his next start.”

Nolasco is 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA in two starts against San Francisco, pitching a two-hit shutout and striking out 11 at AT&T Park on Aug. 18, 2008.

The one Giants hitter Nolasco has struggled against is Pablo Sandoval(notes), who has three hits - two doubles - in five at-bats. Sandoval, who was hitting an NL-best .373 as of April 28, has two hits in his last 20 at-bats.

While Sandoval is slumping, Aaron Rowand(notes) is heating up. The center fielder has homered in both games against the Marlins and has five hits in 14 at-bats since coming off the disabled list Sunday.

Rowand is hitting .442 with four homers and 15 RBIs in his last 10 games at Florida.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Cain SF vs. R. Nolasco Min
13-11 Record 14-9
3.14 ERA 4.51
177 K 147
61 BB 33
1.08 WHIP 1.28


Thursday, May 6