Matt Cain has a tough act to follow when he takes the mound for the San Francisco Giants Saturday in the third test of a four-game series versus the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park.
Cain has been on the disabled list since late August because of a right forearm contusion and will try to keep the Giants on track following Yusmeiro Petit's gem in Friday's 3-0 victory. Petit was in line for a perfect game until D'backs pinch-hitter Eric Chavez lifted a single in front of Giants outfielder Hunter Pence in right field.
Petit struck out seven batters to push his record to 3-0.
"I was never thinking of what was happening in the game," Petit said through an interpreter "But after I got the last two outs I just wanted to keep throwing good pitches. I'm just happy that I'm up here and hope I can stay."
The 28-year-old Venezuelan native was looking to join Cain as the only other Giant to throw a perfect game. Cain turned the trick last year on June 13 against the Astros.
Pence was 3-for-3 with a home run and three runs scored for the Giants, who have won two of three games and rebounded from Thursday's 4-2 loss to Arizona in the opener of this set.
Meanwhile, Cain hasn't toed the rubber since Aug. 22 versus Pittsburgh and lasted 3 1/3 innings in that one, allowing three runs and seven hits. The right-hander has dominated Arizona in his career as evidenced by a 14-6 mark and 3.39 ERA in 31 starts.
Cain is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in four starts against the D'backs this season. He probably won't have catcher Buster Posey in his corner because the All-Star is dealing with a fractured right ring finger. Posey said the finger feels better and swelling has gone down, but manager Bruce Bochy will err on the side of caution with one of his best players.
Pablo Sandoval is the team's emergency catcher, while Hector Sanchez was behind the plate Friday and went 3-for-3 with an RBI.
Arizona is still fighting for a playoff spot and sits eight games off the final wild card berth in the National League.
The D'backs, though, have lost six of their last nine games and were shut down completely in Friday's 3-0 loss. Patrick Corbin pitched well in the loss and went eight innings, allowing all three runs and eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
Chavez broke up Petit's perfect game with his big hit in the ninth.
"We made a lot of quick out and had a lot of ground balls. I have to tip my cap to him (Petit), he pitched a great game. We couldn't solve him once again," D'backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
Brandon McCarthy draws the start for Gibson's club Saturday and has lost six of his last seven starts. McCarthy previously took the mound in Monday's 4-1 loss to Toronto and yielded all four runs in nine innings of work. The right- hander is now 3-9 in 17 starts with a 4.94 ERA.
McCarthy faced the Giants for the first time in his career on May 1 in a 9-6 loss and did not receive a decision after he was reached for four runs and eight hits over six innings. In eight road assignments this season, McCarthy is just 1-5 with a 6.47 ERA.
The Giants have won 11 of 17 from the Diamondbacks this season.