If the San Francisco Giants can continue taking advantage of teams that are all but out of the playoff race over the final three weeks, then they could still have a shot at defending their championship.
The Giants go for a three-game sweep of the last-place San Diego Padres on Wednesday afternoon.
San Francisco moved into position for the sweep with a 6-4 victory Tuesday. Combined with Arizona’s loss to Colorado, the Giants (75-67) cut their deficit to six games behind the NL West-leading Diamondbacks. Each club has 20 games remaining, including a three-game set in Phoenix starting Sept. 23.
“It’s nice to see those guys come out and do what they did and help us win a ballgame,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
However, a veteran carried the Giants. Carlos Beltran(notes) went 3 for 3 after missing one game with food poisoning. He’s hitting .733 (11 for 15) with a homer and six RBIs in four games this month, and .387 in 20 games since being acquired from the New York Mets for the stretch run.
Though San Francisco is 8-12 with Beltran in the lineup, they’ve won six of nine when he has at least two hits.
Cain is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA in three outings against San Diego this year, and 2-5 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 career starts at Petco Park.
He lasted eight innings for the third time in four starts Friday, beating Arizona 6-2 to end the Diamondbacks’ nine-game winning streak.
“That’s the energy we needed, the way we needed to start off September,” said Cain, who yielded two runs, five hits and four walks.
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts this season versus the Giants - both at Petco. However, the San Diego native is 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA in four home starts since the All-Star break. He had been 5-2 with a 2.92 ERA at home in the first half of the season.
Harang allowed three runs over seven innings of a 3-0 home loss to the Rockies on Friday.
San Diego (61-81) has dropped six of seven at home to San Francisco and 11 of 12 overall.