SAN FRANCISCO — Before Wednesday’s game, manager Bruce Bochy again talked about the possibility of skipping his No. 5 starter next week when the Giants have two off days. Not so fast, Matt Cain said.
The longest-tenured Giant had a throwback performance, allowing just one run in five innings and scoring the first Giants run of the night. The bullpen was brilliant as the rain came and the Giants piled on late, pulling away with a 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks. The series win was the first of the season, and it gave Cain his first victory since August 6.
Cain’s second pitch of the night was smoked for a triple by A.J. Pollock, who promptly strolled home on a sacrifice fly. Cain would walk two in that inning, but once he got out of the first, he found a groove. After a leadoff single in the second, Cain retired 11 of 12, six going down on strikeouts. David Peralta hit a two-out single ahead of Paul Goldschmidt in the fifth, but Cain got the dangerous first baseman to ground out to third.
At that point, it looked like this would be a good old-fashioned Caining. The Giants changed that in the bottom of the fifth, and Cain was the one to provide the first charge. He roped a double to left and raced home when Pollock got a poor initial grip on Denard Span’s single to center. After a walk of Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence took an awkward stab at the ball and poked an RBI single to right. Conor Gillaspie’s single made it 3-1.
Cain’s night wouldn’t last much longer. When the first two Diamondbacks reached in the top of the sixth, Bruce Bochy came out with the hook. Cory Gearrin entered and struck out three straight, all swinging, to put a bow on Cain’s solid night.
The wind kept the Giants in the park in the seventh, but it didn’t keep them off the scoreboard. Nick Hundley and Jarrett Parker both crushed balls that would have been homers during a day game, and instead turned into extra-base hits that sparked a three-run rally.
Starting pitching report: Cain was charged with one run in five-plus innings. He had just three starts last season of at least 15 outs and fewer than two runs.
Bullpen report: The Giants optioned Steven Okert to Triple-A because they wanted to keep Gearrin and Neil Ramirez. So far, those two have 12 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
At the plate: Cain was the most dangerous hitter on staff for years, but he was just 2-for-43 the last two seasons. The double left his bat at 106 mph.
In the field: George Kontos, owner of many pairs of Jordans, made a leaping grab to snag a bouncer and end the seventh.
Attendance: Before the game, the 492nd consecutive announced sellout crowd cheered a Gold Glove ceremony.
Up next: The Giants get their first look at the Rockies, a dark-horse pick to make noise in the division. The series opener is Madison Bumgarner vs. Jon Gray.