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Cain helps Giants avoid sweep against Cubs

Aug 24, 2007 - 12:06 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) - Matt Cain has not received much run support this season, so on Thursday he took matters into his own hands.

The righthander hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning and outpitched Carlos Zambrano to help the San Francisco Giants salvage the finale of a three-game series with a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Cain (6-13) pitched seven superb innings, allowing one run and seven hits. The 22-year-old, who struck out four and walked one, received at least four runs of support in just five of his previous 25 outings this season.

"It's not something you try to worry about," Cain said of his record. "I've always been told let's worry about getting your innings in, keeping your walks down and working on your ERA and stuff like that. That's always been a big goal for me and sometimes it just doesn't work with the wins. Sometimes, it doesn't go that way. Just focus on the stuff you can handle and let baseball handle the rest of it."

Brian Wilson worked a perfect eighth and Brad Hennessey pitched a scoreless ninth to record his 13th save.

For the Cubs, Zambrano (14-10) made his first start since being signed to a lucrative five year, $91.5 million contract extension that will keep him in Chicago through at least the 2012 season.

"I think I'll win one after I signed this contract. I don't think it'll be loss, loss, loss until I retire," Zambrano said. "I think at some point I'll win one game and I'll work on it. On my next bullpen session, I'll work on what I did wrong in this game and go from there."

Zambrano lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and four runs. He struck out four and walked four.

"I was feeling good today and I made some mistakes that sometimes (ticked) me off," Zambrano said. "I shouldn't make those mistakes but the good thing is we took two out of three and that was a good series."

The game was scoreless until the fourth, when Rich Aurilia reached on a forceout. Omar Vizquel and Cain walked to load the bases, and Dave Roberts followed with a two-run single to right field, giving the Giants the lead.

"That was huge for us," Roberts said. "Matty (Cain) has been throwing the ball great all year and to be in another tight ballgame against a very good pitcher in Carlos Zambrano. To have an opportunity after walking the pitcher, I was just happy that we were able to capitalize."

In the sixth, Guillermo Rodriguez hit a ground-rule double to left before Cain drilled a high, arching drive that barely cleared the left field wall. Of Cain's four hits this season, two are home runs.

"I think he found my bat and he really just threw it into my swing and I got lucky," Cain said. "I thought I popped it up but it just kept going."

The Cubs were kept off the scoreboard until the seventh. Jason Kendall led off with a double and scored on a single to center by Mike Fontenot.

Randy Winn had three hits for the Giants, who rested slugger Barry Bonds.

With the loss, Chicago (65-61) saw its lead over idle Milwaukee (65-62) in the National League Central Division shrink to one-half game.

"We win two of three the rest of the year I think we're all going to be very happy," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "Let's go to Arizona and try to do the same."






  • jkirsch Cain is one of the best young pitchers in the game and he would have a lot more wins if he wasnt on the aging, no-run giants.

    Cubs vs. GiantsAug 23 10:04 PM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 x 4 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO, SCOTT EYRE (6TH), KERRY WOOD (7TH), BOBBY
    HOWRY (8TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    SFO - MATT CAIN, BRIAN WILSON (8TH), BRAD HENNESSEY
    (9TH) AND GUILLE

    Aug 23 5:59 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE FONTENOT SCORED JASON KENDALL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M FONTENOT ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: S EYRE (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Cubs vs. GiantsAug 23 5:29 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MATT CAIN (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF CARLOS ZAMBRANO SCORED GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0, SAN FRANCISCO 4
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: D ROBERTS (.269, 2-FOR-3, 2 RBI)

    Cubs vs. GiantsAug 23 5:12 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVE ROBERTS SCORED RICH AURILIA AND OMAR
    VIZQUEL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D ROBERTS ON FIRST, M CAIN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: R DAVIS (.286, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. GiantsAug 23 4:44 PM