Brewers-Giants Preview

The Associated Press

Matt Cain has been spectacular at AT&T Park this season.

A little run support could help the San Francisco Giants right-hander get back into the win column.

Cain will try to avoid losing a third consecutive start Sunday when the host Giants finish their series against the banged-up Milwaukee Brewers.

Eleventh in the NL last season with a 2.80 home ERA, Cain (1-2, 2.35 ERA) has surrendered two runs in 26 innings at AT&T Park in 2012, with both of those coming in his last start - Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Miami.

San Francisco (13-14) has scored four total runs in Cain's last three starts overall.

"It's almost like you press a little bit harder to try to get him some runs because he's pitching his butt off," second baseman Ryan Theriot told the Giants' official website.

Cain has struck out 30 and walked just six, and his opponents' on-base percentage (.191) is the lowest in the majors.

The right-hander, though, is 2-5 with a 4.70 ERA lifetime against Milwaukee after losing both of his starts in this series in 2011, with the Brewers hitting .352 in those games.

Cain will face a Milwaukee team that's had a player leave with an injury in each of its last four games. First baseman Mat Gamel tore his right ACL on Tuesday against San Diego, Ryan Braun left Wednesday's game against the Padres with a sore right Achilles, Carlos Gomez was taken out of Friday's 6-4 win over San Francisco with a strained left hamstring and shortstop Alex Gonzalez suffered a potentially serious right knee injury in Saturday's 5-2 loss while sliding into second base.

"We have to keep playing and get through these tough injuries," manager Ron Roenicke said.

Gomez and Gonzalez will be placed on the disabled list Sunday and be replaced by call-ups Taylor Green and Edwin Maysonet.

The Brewers (12-15) conclude their rough nine-game trip with Shaun Marcum (1-1, 3.19) on the hill. The veteran right-hander hasn't won since his season debut April 9, but he had his best outing of the season in Tuesday's 2-0 loss to San Diego, throwing seven scoreless innings.

"Really good. Really mixed his speeds well," Roenicke told the Brewers' official website. "This should be a ballgame to really get him locked in."

Marcum went 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in two starts against San Francisco last season.

He should be careful pitching to Buster Posey, who is batting .469 (15 for 32) with four homers and 11 RBIs in nine career games against Milwaukee after going 2 for 4 with an RBI single Saturday to help the Giants end a season-high four-game skid.

San Francisco center fielder Angel Pagan will try to hit safely in a career-best 20th consecutive game Sunday. He is 3 for 8 in the series and 2 for 5 with a double against Marcum.

Braun, who hit a solo homer Saturday after missing Friday's contest to rest his Achilles, has six hits - including a double and a triple - in 15 at-bats off Cain.

The Giants right-hander last dropped three consecutive starts from Aug. 1-12.