San Francisco at Colorado

Scoreboard
San Francisco (52-44) «000201000370
Colorado (52-44)000001000141

Cain picks up 12th victory of season; Giants beat Rockies

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- For a game played in the July heat, this sure had a cool September feel.

Matt Cain detected it on the mound. The noisier the crowd became, the nastier he pitched.

Cain became the major leagues' second 12-game winner, scattering three hits over seven innings and the San Francisco Giants beat Colorado 3-1 on Friday night to pull even with the Rockies in the NL wild-card race.

Too early to talk postseason?

"No. This is where we have to concentrate -- take these games," Cain said of the three-game series. "We let something slip now and that could come back to bite us down the road."

Cain pitched with a playoff zest, giving up one run and striking out five as he moved to 37-6 all-time when the Giants score three or more runs for him.

Although he struggled with his command at times, issuing four walks, he didn't allow his first hit until the fifth when Ian Stewart lined a two-out hopper through the right side of the infield.

And yes, he had visions of a no-hitter. Even more so when third baseman Pablo Sandoval robbed the speedy Dexter Fowler of a hit with a nifty play in the fourth.

"I think as a pitcher, most know," Cain admitted. "You definitely try to keep it going."

Cain (12-2) joined Colorado's Jason Marquis as the only 12-game winners this season. He lowered his ERA to 2.27, the third-best mark in the NL.

It may be early, but there's talk about Cain as a serious Cy Young candidate.

Not that Giants manager Bruce Bochy wants to address that subject - not yet at least.

"We've got a lot of baseball left," Bochy said. "But I can't say enough about what he's done this year. He's really emerged as a terrific pitcher. He's not trying to power his way through guys, has great poise out there. We'll see. We'll talk about that in September."

Cain definitely earned the Rockies' respect.

"He was real good," Troy Tulowitzki said. "He's one of the better guys in the league and he throws hard."

It was supposed to be a matchup of two of the elite pitchers in the NL. But Marquis was bumped due to a bothersome blister on his right middle finger.

Jason Hammel (5-5) started in his place, giving up three runs and seven hits in six innings.

"I had a lot of fun tonight. Even though we lost, it was a great game," Hammel said.

For Fred Lewis, Coors Field has become his home away from AT&T Park. He increased his career batting average to .365 with a 3-for-3 night, finishing a homer shy of the cycle.

The left-handed hitting Lewis singled in the first, doubled in the fourth and tripled in the sixth. In his final at-bat in the eighth, he was walked on five pitches by southpaw Franklin Morales.

"His playing time picked up and he's taking advantage of it," Bochy said. "He had a good game out there."

The Giants entered the game as the only team without a homer following the All-Star break. Nate Schierholtz ended that dubious distinction in the fourth, connecting on a 93-mph fastball from Hammel.

It was his fourth of the season.

Rafael Betancourt made his Rockies debut in the eighth inning, setting the Giants down in order. Betancourt was acquired Thursday from Cleveland and added to the roster before the game.

Notes

  • Giants OF Aaron Rowand (bruised right forearm) and INF Edgar Renteria (right elbow) were given another day off to rest. They're expected to be available Saturday night.
  • LHP Randy Johnson (strained shoulder) is going to have an MRI on Monday to see how much progress he's made. "We're still being optimistic we'll get good news Monday and he'll start his rehab," Bochy said before the game.
  • Marquis is scheduled to start Tuesday night in New York.
  • Jeremy Affeldt pitched a perfect eighth for his 27th straight scoreless inning.
  • Rockies 3B Garrett Atkins had an RBI double in the sixth.
 
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 gives up only three hits and one walk while striking out five in the victory.  (AP)
Matt Cain gives up only three hits and one walk while striking out five in the victory. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

M. Cain
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 4
K 5
San Francisco

F. Lewis
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, CF-LF4000010 .278
Fred Lewis, LF3230100 .253
    Andres Torres, CF0000000 .239
Pablo Sandoval, 3B3010101 .322
Bengie Molina, C4011001 .263
Nate Schierholtz, RF4111001 .298
Travis Ishikawa, 1B4000012 .265
Juan Uribe, SS3000010 .285
Matt Downs, 2B3000000 .180
Matt Cain, P3010010 .211
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .500
    Brian Wilson, P0000000 .000
Totals3137224  
Batting
2B - Fred Lewis (14, Hammel)
3B - Fred Lewis (3, Hammel)
HR - Nate Schierholtz (4, Hammel)
RBI - Bengie Molina (51), Nate Schierholtz (20)
2-OUT RBI - Nate Schierholtz (14)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Uribe-Downs-Ishikawa, Uribe-Downs-Ishikawa
San Francisco Giants
Matt Cain (W,12-2) 7311450 2.27
Jeremy Affeldt (H,21) 1000000 1.14
Brian Wilson (S,25) 1100100 3.25
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Cain 115-66, Jeremy Affeldt 11-6, Brian Wilson 21-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Cain 6-8, Jeremy Affeldt 3-0, Brian Wilson 1-1
Batters Faced - Matt Cain 26, Jeremy Affeldt 3, Brian Wilson 4
Colorado Rockies
Dexter Fowler, CF3000100 .254
Ryan Spilborghs, LF4110001 .259
Todd Helton, 1B2000201 .322
Garrett Atkins, 3B4011001 .226
Brad Hawpe, RF3010122 .318
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4000012 .247
Ian Stewart, 2B2010110 .229
Chris Iannetta, C3000003 .226
Jason Hammel, P1000010 .111
   a- Carlos Gonzalez, PH1000000 .224
    Juan Rincon, P0000000 .000
    Franklin Morales, P0000000 .500
   b- Seth Smith, PH1000000 .291
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
Totals2814155  
a-grounded out for Hammel in the 6th
b-grounded out for Morales in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ryan Spilborghs (17, Cain), Garrett Atkins (9, Cain)
RBI - Garrett Atkins (30)
2-OUT RBI - Garrett Atkins (16)
CS - Dexter Fowler (8, 2nd base by Cain/Molina)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Spilborghs 1
DP - Stewart-Tulowitzki-Helton, Atkins-Stewart-Helton
E - Chris Iannetta (3, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
Jason Hammel (L,5-5) 6733121 4.28
Juan Rincon 1000020 5.24
Franklin Morales 1000100 1.88
Rafael Betancourt 1000000 3.41
IBB - Sandoval by Jason Hammel
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 94-61, Juan Rincon 11-8, Franklin Morales 8-4, Rafael Betancourt 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 10-4, Juan Rincon 1-0, Franklin Morales 1-1, Rafael Betancourt 1-2
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 24, Juan Rincon 3, Franklin Morales 3, Rafael Betancourt 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40524
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Brian Knight