San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain wasn't at his sharpest the last time he took the mound, but got enough support from his teammates to win a second straight start.
The Giants are hoping to have one of their top hitters, Angel Pagan, back in the lineup to help Cain earn another victory Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Cain (3-2, 2.67 ERA) gave up four runs over the first three innings against St. Louis on Thursday but remained in the game through the sixth and was the winner in a 7-5 victory. He's won his last two outings after going 0-2 despite a 2.08 ERA over his previous four starts while receiving four total runs in support.
"It was nice to get him a win like that with all the tough games he's worked where we couldn't get him runs," manager Bruce Bochy said after Thursday's victory.
San Francisco (22-20) might have a better chance at scoring more runs for Cain if Pagan can return from a bout of the stomach flu. The center fielder, who is batting .439 during an 11-game hitting streak and has at least one hit in 31 of his last 32 games, was scratched before Monday's series opener at Miller Park.
The Giants could have used Pagan's help Monday, when they needed 14 innings to defeat the Brewers (17-25) by a 4-3 score. San Francisco got a three-run homer from Buster Posey in the first inning but couldn't make the lead hold up, giving up a tying two-run home run to Ryan Braun in the eighth.
Six innings later, Hector Sanchez gave San Francisco its fourth win in five games and a season-high third in a row on the road with his second career homer. The home runs from Posey and Sanchez were the first in seven games for the Giants.
"That was what won the game for us tonight, a couple of home runs - something we've been missing," Bochy said.
If he can shake off some tightness in his right groin, Braun will try to extend a 10-game hit streak during which he's batting .410. He's driven in nine runs over his last four games.
Braun left Monday's game after the 10th inning but didn't think he would miss Tuesday's contest.
"It's not as bad as it was then, so it's not too serious," said Braun, who dealt with a similar injury in spring training.
Milwaukee, which has dropped five of six, could use a better performance from Shaun Marcum (2-2, 3.31), who gave up four runs and a season-high nine hits over five innings of a 4-0 loss at Houston on Thursday while dealing with a muscle cramp in his rib cage.
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.13 ERA in four career starts against the Giants, including a matchup against Cain on May 6 in San Francisco. Marcum gave up three runs in six innings, while Cain yielded two runs over seven innings and struck out 10. Neither starter got a decision as the Giants won 4-3 in 11 innings.
Cain is 1-3 with a 5.67 ERA in four career starts at Miller Park.
Braun is 7 for 18 lifetime versus Cain.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved