Matt Cain probably can’t wait to take the mound and move on from one of the worst starts of his career.
The right-hander looks to bounce back and help the San Francisco Giants to a fifth consecutive victory while trying to continue their recent success against the Chicago Cubs on Friday at Wrigley Field.
Cain (0-1, 8.38 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings of a 4-0 opening day defeat at Dodger Stadium on April 1, but couldn’t complete four frames and was roughed up for nine runs in the fourth of a 14-3 loss to St. Louis on Sunday.
“In general, baseball has a way of humbling guys,” Cain told the Giants’ official website. “The baseball gods find a way to even it out.”
He threw 66 pitches while matching a career high for runs allowed.
“It just kind of fell apart,” Cain said. “I don’t know that they changed anything. I just started making some bad pitches and they put good swings (together).”
Cain is 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 starts versus Chicago, but allowed five runs in five innings at Wrigley on Sept. 2.
San Francisco (7-3) rallied from a two-run deficit to win 7-5 that day and trailed 5-0 at Chicago on Thursday before taking advantage of some poor Cubs’ defense to win 7-6.
Angel Pagan had a go-ahead sacrifice fly after pitcher Ryan Vogelsong walked with the bases loaded to tie it the game in fifth. Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run double and rookie second baseman Nick Noonan had three hits for the Giants, who have totaled 30 runs and 47 hits in winning four straight since Cain’s rough outing.
“This team’s got a lot of fight. We try to go out and win every game,” said Sergio Romo who has converted all six save chances. “We believe we can win every game, understanding that it’s hard to do, but we try.”
Ex-Cub Pagan is batting .400 (10 for 25) during a six-game hitting streak. He’s batted .333 (12 for 36) while hitting safely in nine straight against his former team.
Sandoval is batting .421 (8 for 19) with six RBIs during a five-game hitting streak.
Shortstop Starlin Castro had two hits but also committed a key error during San Francisco’s four-run fourth inning. Starting pitcher Scott Feldman also was slow to cover first base on a ground ball hit to the right side in the same frame.
“You spend hours and hours on it for 45 days of spring training and then to have the lapses in games when it counts,” said Cubs manager Dale Sveum, whose team has committed 10 errors.
With two hits Thursday, Chicago catcher Welington Castillo is batting .400 (10 for 25) in seven games this season.
Schierholtz is 6 for 12 in his last three.
Scheduled Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva gave up a solo homer and struck out six in 6 2-3 innings but was a victim of a bullpen meltdown in Saturday’s 6-5 loss at Atlanta.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 13 games versus San Francisco, but his only start against the Giants came in 2008 when he yielded two runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 13-4 win for Milwaukee.
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