After nearly witnessing the second perfect game in franchise history, the San Francisco Giants are hoping to see a strong outing from their only pitcher to accomplish that momentous feat.
Yusmeiro Petit , who took Cain's spot in the rotation, was within one out of perfection Friday, but Eric Chavez 's pinch-hit single landed just in front of a diving Hunter Pence in right field. The 3-0 victory pushed Arizona eight games behind Cincinnati in the race for the NL's final wild card berth with 22 left to play.
Cain (8-8, 4.43 ERA) will try to hinder the Diamondbacks' postseason hopes in his first game back from a bruised right forearm. The right-hander suffered the injury when he was hit by a line drive in a 10-5 loss to Pittsburgh on Aug. 22.
"We were fortunate there was no fracture and so was he," manager Bruce Bochy said after that game. "That ball was smoked. It caught him flush."
Cain is 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his last seven starts against Arizona, losers in six of nine, and 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in his last four home matchups. He gave up two runs over five innings in his most recent meeting with the Diamondbacks, a 4-3 victory at AT&T Park on July 20.
Arizona (71-69) is hitting .235 in its last nine games - 23 points lower than its season average - and has produced 20 runs. The Diamondbacks have scored 18 runs in their past nine contests against San Francisco while batting .227.
The Giants (63-78) have won 10 of 14 over their NL West rivals, and they'll face a struggling Brandon McCarthy in this game.
McCarthy (3-9, 4.94) is 1-6 with a 5.92 ERA in his last seven starts, the last six occurring since a return from the disabled list (right shoulder inflammation). The right-hander earned a 6-1 win over San Diego on Aug. 26, allowing one unearned run over seven innings, but suffered a complete-game loss to Toronto on Monday.
He gave up four runs and five hits in that 4-1 defeat and has received two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts.
"He threw well and gave us a chance to win," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We just didn't hit."
McCarthy did not get a decision in his only start against San Francisco on May 1. He allowed four runs and eight hits over six innings in that 9-6 defeat.
Pence and Angel Pagan homered and doubled off him in that game. Pence, batting .500 (12 for 24) with three homers in his last seven games, is 5 for 10 with four extra-base hits in his career against McCarthy.
The Giants likely won't have catcher Buster Posey for this rest of this series. He has missed the past three games with a broken right ring finger.
|August 24, 2013||J.J. Putz||15-Day DL||Dislocated right pinky finger|
|August 12, 2013||Cody Ross||60-Day DL||Dislocated right hip|
|August 11, 2013||Cody Ross||Day-to-Day||Dislocated right hip|
|August 10, 2013||Eric Chavez||15-Day DL||Hip and knee injuries|
|August 10, 2013||Eric Chavez||15-Day DL||Hip and knee injuries|
|July 29, 2013||Miguel Montero||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|San Francisco Giants|
|August 23, 2013||Matt Cain||15-Day DL||Right forearm contusion|
|August 22, 2013||Matt Cain||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm|
|August 22, 2013||Andres Torres||60-Day DL||Surgery, left Achilles - out for season|
|August 20, 2013||Pablo Sandoval||Day-to-Day||Sore back|
|August 17, 2013||Chad Gaudin||15-Day DL||Carpal tunnel syndrome|
|August 15, 2013||Sandy Rosario||Day-to-Day||Bruised sternum|
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Brandon McCarthy finally pitched well on the road.
McCarthy hadn't won away from Arizona since May 18 before putting together a dominant performance in San Francisco on Saturday night.
The right-hander allowed one run and six hits in eight innings as the Diamondbacks beat the Giants 2-1. He had been 0-4 with an 11.40 ERA in his previous four road starts, but was able to throw strikes against San Francisco.
McCarty (4-9) struck out six and walked one. He threw 70 strikes in 99 pitches.
"For me I have to have command and if I am not using everything and using it to both sides of the plate it becomes a much easier job for teams to hit me," McCarthy said.
McCarthy was on the 15-day disabled list from May 31 to August 2 with a right shoulder inflammation and had been struggling with his mechanics most of the season until recently.
"Once I was able to kind of fix what I needed to mechanically everything has gone back into place the way I hoped it would," McCarthy said. "It's less thinking and just kind of being able to execute."
McCarthy has now walked three batters or less in 76 consecutive starts, the third-longest active streak in baseball.
Brad Ziegler pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances.
Matt Cain (8-9) gave up two runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out three and walked four.
"I didn't make some pitches when I needed too and it ended up costing us," Cain said.
He was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game after missing 14 games with a contusion on his right forearm. Coming into the game Cain had just one win in his last nine starts at home, going 1-5 with a 5.36 era over that stretch.
"Coming off the DL, it's been a while since he's pitched and he did a good job," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain. "He went into the seventh and gave up only two runs. He made a couple mistakes but he pitched well."
Paul Goldschmidt had three hits, including a triple.
"I just got some good pitches to hit," Goldschmidt said. "If you ask Cain he probably would say they were a few mistakes."
Arizona broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning when Goldschmidt drove in Adam Eaton with a triple to deep right centerfield. Eaton had walked.
The Giants got to McCarthy in the third inning as Brandon Crawford led off with a single and was bunted over to second by Cain. After a fielder's choice moved Crawford to third he scored on Marco Scutaro 's single.
With San Francisco leading 1-0, Arizona got the run back as Gerardo Parra hit a two-out single to right-field to drive in Goldschmidt, who led off the inning with a single.
The Diamondbacks ended the first, third and eighth innings by getting thrown out on the bases.
In the first Goldschmidt singled with two outs but was caught attempting to steal second. In the third A.J. Pollock singled with one out but was doubled up on a fly out to Giants centerfielder Angel Pagan .
Pollock was stealing second on the play and didn't realize that the ball was a fly-out and was barely beaten by the throw back to first. In the eighth Will Nieves was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on a double to left centerfield by Parra with two outs. Pagan hit cutoff man Crawford who relayed the throw to Giants catcher Hector Sanchez for the tag out.
"We were just trying to be aggressive on the base paths," Goldschmidt said. "That was an unbelievable throw to the plate by Crawford."
NOTES: Sunday's game features starting pitchers Wade Miley (9-10, 3.78) for Arizona versus Madison Bumgarner (11-9, 2.91) for the Giants. ... McCarthy had not won on the road since May 18 at Miami and was 0-4 with an 11.40 era in his previous four road starts. ... Arizona's Chris Owings registered his first Major League hit in the sixth, a single off Cain. Owings added a second single in the ninth inning and had his first Major League stolen base later in the inning. ... Pagan had two throwing assists in the game.