Colorado at San Francisco

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Cain K's dozen Rockies, gives Giants second win in 13 games

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Cain might be too young to get discouraged about the San Francisco Giants' struggles. With an outstanding start at the end of a nightmarish two-week stretch, he reminded his teammates they've still got time to turn it around.

Cain had a career-high 12 strikeouts in seven strong innings, Pedro Feliz drove in two runs and the Giants avoided a historic home sweep with a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Mark Sweeney, Feliz and Cain each drove in a run with bases-loaded singles to center during a small-ball rally in the sixth, and the Giants hung on for just their second victory in 13 games while falling from first place to last in the mediocre NL West.

They also prevented Colorado from sweeping a series in San Francisco for the first time in franchise history. Barry Bonds even seemed to be recharged, capping one of his best weekends of the season with a hard-hit ground-rule double while scoring two runs.

But Cain (8-8) was the most impressive, baffling the Rockies with power and deception during his third 10-strikeout game of the season. While his teammates' heads have drooped during the skid, the 21-year-old rookie right-hander remains optimistic.

"I'm definitely going to (savor) this one because of the situation we're in right now," Cain said. "We've got a lot of games left. If we get on a roll, it will work out fine for us. We're not that far out anyway."

Cain allowed six hits and walked just one batter, striking out Colorado cleanup hitter Matt Holliday three times while mowing down the Rockies' lineup. He even picked up his first career RBI, driving in the final run of San Francisco's three-run sixth.

Cain's best outings have been outstanding this season: He pitched a one-hitter against Oakland in May and was four outs away from a no-hitter against the Angels in June. But he had lost his last two starts before he baffled the Rockies on the final day before the Giants open a 10-game trip.

"We've been getting some real good starting pitching here, almost all year," manager Felipe Alou said. "If we could put it together with some saves, some holds in the eighth inning, that would translate to a couple of more wins."

Alou hopes the victory ended an embarrassing stretch for the Giants, who lost nine straight during their skid. The Rockies have endured their share of stumbles this season, but they've been playing much better baseball than San Francisco in recent weeks, winning seven of 10 despite this loss.

"We felt the West was a swinging gate," said manager Clint Hurdle, whose club opens a four-game series against streaking Los Angeles on Monday night. "Our goal was to get to .500, and we couldn't pull it off today. Hopefully we'll be more focused and more determined next time out."

Garrett Atkins hit his 16th homer for the Rockies, who won two of three in San Francisco despite managing just 18 hits in the series.

Cain struck out the side in the seventh, finishing off pinch-hitter Jason Smith with his 110th pitch. Only former Giants catcher Yorvit Torrealba had much success against Cain, with an RBI single, a triple and a walk.

Aaron Cook (7-10) nearly added another solid outing to the Rockies' recent stretch of standout starting pitching before falling apart in the sixth. He yielded nine hits and five runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Sweeney's bloop single broke a sixth-inning tie after the Giants' first three batters reached base -- including Bonds, whose ground-rule double bounced near the warning track in the park's deepest section.

"He should have hit it out, honestly," Cook said of his straight-down-the-middle pitch. "I expect to be a better pitcher than I'm pitching right now. I proved to myself I could do it in the last couple of months of last season, and it's frustrating not to be able to do it again."

After getting the first RBI in the sixth, Sweeney drove in Bonds with another run in the seventh when Jorge Piedra lost his popup in the sun.

Notes

  • Feliz made a slick fielding play in the sixth, reaching back behind his head on the run to snag Helton's foul popup.
  • Cain's 12 strikeouts surpassed his 11-strikeout performance against San Diego on July 1.
  • The Rockies have won three straight series after losing their previous five.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Matt Cain strikes out 12 Rockies, though the Giants are still five games back in the NL West.  (AP)
Matt Cain strikes out 12 Rockies, though the Giants are still five games back in the NL West. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

M. Cain
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 1
K 12
San Francisco

M. Sweeney
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Colorado Rockies
Jamey Carroll, 2B4010011 .311
Clint Barmes, SS4000012 .237
Garrett Atkins, 3B4111000 .313
Matt Holliday, LF4000030 .323
Todd Helton, 1B4110010 .290
Yorvit Torrealba, C3021110 .259
Jorge Piedra, RF3000023 .179
Cory Sullivan, CF3010021 .271
Aaron Cook, P1000010 .071
    Manuel Corpas, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Smith, PH1000011 .274
    Ray King, P0000000 .000
    Ramon Ramirez, P0000000 .667
Totals312621138 
a-struck out for Corpas in the 7th
Batting
2B - Todd Helton (23, Cain)
3B - Yorvit Torrealba (2, Cain)
HR - Garrett Atkins (16, Cain)
SH - Aaron Cook (10)
RBI - Garrett Atkins (72), Yorvit Torrealba (33)
SB - Yorvit Torrealba (3, 2nd base off Cain/Alfonzo)
CS - Yorvit Torrealba (3, 2nd base by Cain/Alfonzo)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Carroll-Barmes-Helton, Atkins-Carroll-Helton
E - Jamey Carroll (3, )
Colorado Rockies
Aaron Cook (L,7-10) 5.1955110 3.95
Manuel Corpas 0.2000010 1.23
Ray King 1311000 4.30
Ramon Ramirez 1000010 2.84
IBB - Durham by Aaron Cook
HBP - Durham (by Aaron Cook)
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 87-57, Manuel Corpas 4-4, Ray King 22-15, Ramon Ramirez 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 13-2, Ray King 2-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 27, Manuel Corpas 2, Ray King 5, Ramon Ramirez 3
San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, CF-LF5110013 .264
Omar Vizquel, SS4011013 .310
Moises Alou, RF4120001 .297
Barry Bonds, LF4210001 .249
    Steve Finley, CF0000000 .250
Ray Durham, 2B2110101 .280
Mark Sweeney, 1B4132000 .274
Pedro Feliz, 3B4022001 .261
Eliezer Alfonzo, C4000015 .284
Matt Cain, P3011000 .194
    Vinnie Chulk, P1000000 .000
Totals3561261315 
Batting
2B - Randy Winn (26, Cook), Barry Bonds (15, Cook)
RBI - Omar Vizquel (37), Mark Sweeney 2 (31), Pedro Feliz 2 (71), Matt Cain (1)
2-OUT RBI - Pedro Feliz (19)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Alfonzo-Vizquel
San Francisco Giants
Matt Cain (W,8-8) 76221121 4.62
Vinnie Chulk 2000010 4.41
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Cain 110-76, Vinnie Chulk 26-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Cain 2-6, Vinnie Chulk 3-2
Batters Faced - Matt Cain 27, Vinnie Chulk 6
Game Information
Attendance - 39288
Game Time - 2:25
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Dan Iassogna