Matt Cain tries to follow up his best start of the season on Tuesday when the San Francisco Giants aim to slow down the red-hot San Diego Padres in the middle test of a three-game set at AT&T Park.
On the one-year anniversary of his perfect game, Cain was nearly as good against Pittsburgh on Thursday, as he scattered two hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings to improve to 5-3, while lowering his ERA to 4.70.
"I feel like I'm throwing the ball like I want," said Cain. "I'm just trying to eliminate the big inning."
Cain is 7-11 lifetime versus the Padres with a 3.17 ERA in 30 starts.
Getting the call for the Padres on Tuesday will be righty Andrew Cashner, who is 5-3 with a 3.52 ERA. Cashner defeated Atlanta last Tuesday, holding the Braves to a pair of runs and six hits in eight innings. He also struck out five and walked a batter.
"Every time I got into trouble," Cashner said, " ... I told myself to keep making pitches. I kind of toned it down after the first and got my changeup down in the zone. I think that was the biggest thing."
San Diego is 7-3 in his starts this season.
"Every start he makes is a learning experience," San Diego manager Bud Black said.
Cashner beat the Giants earlier in the year, but is 1-3 with a 3.94 ERA with eight games (2 starts).
Cashner played a big part in San Diego stretching its winning streak to seven on Monday, as his pinch-hit bunt single in the 13th inning scored the go-ahead run to lift the Padres past the Giants, 5-3.
In the 13th, Alexi Amarista smacked a leadoff double off of Jose Mijares (0-1) then moved to third on Chris Denorfia's base hit that deflected off of Tony Abreu and landed in shallow right field. Cashner followed with a perfect bunt to the left side that allowed Amarista to score.
Kyle Blanks singled two batters later to load the bases before Yasmani Grandal worked a walk to force in Denorfia.
Gregor Blanco singled with one out in the bottom half, but Huston Street was able to record the final two outs of the game to nail down the win. It was Street's 14th save of the season.
"That was a great team win," said Padres third baseman Chase Headley.
San Francisco has now lost three in a row.
San Diego has won four of seven games with the Giants this season, but it has lost 15 of 20 in the series as the visiting team. The Giants swept the Padres at AT&T earlier in the year, only to see the Padres return the favor in San Diego.