Cain tosses shutout as Giants edge NationalsJul 24, 2008 - 11:40 PM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Matt Cain has every right to gripe about his lack of run support. Instead, he just goes about his business.
Cain threw his second career shutout and the recently activated Dave Roberts had an RBI single as the San Francisco Giants completed a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 1-0 victory on Thursday.
Cain was outstanding, allowing just four hits with four strikeouts to snap a three-start winless streak and notch his fourth career complete game.
The 24-year-old righthander had to deal with little run support once again. Cain (6-8) has received one run of support or less in 23 of his 54 starts since the start of the 2007 season.
"The guy competes and he's had the tough luck, and then people talk about the lack of run support and things like that," Roberts said. "And after every start, he keeps his mouth shut and doesn't talk bad about the hitters or whatever. He's a professional."
Roberts' eighth-inning single to center field that plated pinch runner Eugenio Velez proved to be the difference. Cain made that run stand up, helping the Giants complete a seven-game season sweep of the Nationals.
"That's huge," Cain said. "It was big for Dave to come up with that hit in the eighth inning, and (for me) to be able to go ahead and get those last two outs in the ninth inning was big, especially the situation we were in."
Cain was on his game early, retiring the first 11 batters he faced before Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-out double to right-center field in the fourth. The only other hit recorded by the Nationals over the first six innings was a one-out single to left field in the sixth by starter Tim Redding (7-5), who tossed his first career complete game in the loss.
Cain liked the tempo of the game, even though he appeared headed toward another no-decision.
"It was good because it keeps the momentum of the game going real quick," Cain said. "It's always nice to be in those quick games and keep everything going where you don't have to sit there that long."
Redding was nearly as good as Cain but faltered in the eighth. Steve Holm hit a single to start the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Cain. Roberts, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday, singled up the middle past diving All-Star shortstop Cristian Guzman to score Velez, who was running for Holm.
"I just feel like a kid again," said the 36-year-old Roberts, who had been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery on April 12. "The excitement, the adrenaline and seeing fans cheering for something you did out on the field. It's fun, and that's what it's all about."
After Roberts' key hit, Cain battled through the ninth as Willie Harris reached on a one-out infield single and Guzman followed with a double to left. Zimmerman hit a shallow fly ball to right and Randy Winn delivered a strong throw to the plate, preventing the runners from advancing.
Cain then got Austin Kearns on a flyout to right field to end it.
Redding's lone hiccup in the eighth ended up costing him in what was an otherwise fine effort. The righthander allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings with five strikeouts.
"It was just one of those days everything was clicking, and we fell short, 1-0," Redding said. "These are two perfectly played ballgames by both teams and we just fell short. When you get into a rhythm like that, these are the types of games, two hours, 1-0 ballgame, complete games by both guys, they don't happen too far in between all the other games.
"They're kind of nice, but it (stinks) we're on the wrong end."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 1 7 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: WAS - TIM REDDING AND JOHNNY ESTRADA
SFO - MATT CAIN AND STEVE HOLM, BENGIE MOLINA (9TH)
HOME RUNS: WAS - NONE
SFO - NONE
Jul 24 5:45 PM
AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY DAVE ROBERTS SCORED EUGENIO VELEZ.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ROBERTS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
SAN FRANCISCO 1 BOTTOM, 8TH
DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: J CASTILLO (.260, 1-FOR-3)
Nationals 0, Giants 1 Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 24 5:30 PM
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