Despite Cain’s Struggles, Giants Snap Five-Game Losing Streak


Matt Cain yielded three home runs, notching his 2013 April ERA to 6.49. However, Brandon Belt’s two-run single in the eighth inning snapped the Giants’ five-game losing streak.

That 6.49 mark is Cain’s highest April ERA since 2007, when he posted a 6.58 ERA in five starts. The home run ball has undoubtedly been his undoing. Jason Kubel, Eric Chavez and Martin Prado all went deep in four-run fourth inning for the Diamondbacks. Entering Monday, Cain, to no surprise, had never allowed three blasts in a single inning before.

April 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) hits a broken bat RBI sacrifice fly in the first inning during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

To put Cain’s battle with long ball in perspective, the nine home runs he’s allowed so far this year equals his 2011 total. The catch: We’re not even in May yet.

The Giants bailed Cain out of a loss, though.

Along with a bases-loaded single that scored a pair, Belt hit a home run in the second inning off Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy. Belt was dropped to the eighth spot in the lineup on Monday, and his struggles against Kennedy (2-for-15 in his career with nine strikeouts entering Monday) played a role in Bruce Bochy’s decision to move him down in the lineup.

Pablo Sandoval, who drove in a run on a single in the fifth inning, left in the seventh inning with elbow discomfort. It should be noted that he was shut down during spring training with troubles in his throwing elbow. Perhaps those same problems are beginning to resurface.

However, Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area did report that there hasn’t been any whispers of Sandoval being placed on the DL. In fact, his elbow calmed down shortly after the game. Should Sandoval miss Tuesday’s game, though, Nick Noonan would start.

Bruce Bochy also hit the clubhouse early, and he might’ve had a case. Hunter Pence appeared to have beaten out what resulted in a double play during the fifth inning, and Bochy argued the call with first base umpire Bill Miller. Miller didn’t tolerate much, as Bochy was ejected.

After Brad Ziegler relieved Kennedy in the eighth, Noonan ignited San Francisco’s eighth inning rally with a leadoff double. Buster Posey and Hunter Pence were retired, but Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford both walked, setting up Belt’s two-run single that scored Noonan and Blanco to give the Giants a 6-4 edge.

Marco Scutaro had a much-needed three-hit performance Monday night. Scutaro’s been dealing with back problems and his .237 batting average reflects that he hasn’t been himself. But he singled in the first inning. Sandoval followed him with a single and Posey walked. Hunter Pence then hit a sacrifice fly, and Blanco followed him with an RBI single.

Scutaro also scored on Sandoval’s fifth inning RBI single.

Despite allowing four runs on three homers, Cain logged six innings. He surrendered five hits and walked four while striking out six.