Matt Cain tries to pitch the San Francisco Giants to a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics this afternoon at the Coliseum.
Cain followed up his perfect game on June 13 with a less-than stellar performance by his standards against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, allowing three earned runs in five innings of work, but it was enough to make him the first Giants hurler since 1989 to win his eight straight starts.
"It was definitely a grind-it-out day," Cain said. "I was having to work. You've still got some energy, probably from (the perfect game), but I was mostly worrying about making pitches."
The win brought Cain to 9-2 on the season. His dominant campaign also includes a 2.34 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, and 100 strikeouts in 100 innings.
Cain hopes to make it nine straight wins this afternoon against the Athletics, who he's 3-5 against in his career with a 2.19 ERA.
A's starter Brandon McCarthy is also having a fine season with a 6-3 record and a 2.54 ERA.
Since losing back-to-back starts in mid-April, McCarthy has won six straight decisions, including a seven-inning, two hit, no earned run performance on June 19 against the Dodgers. He's now a perfect 3-0 in June with a microscopic 1.29 ERA.
The Giants claimed Saturday's tilt, 9-8, in what was yet another wild game.
San Francisco scored four runs in the sixth and three runs in the seventh to take a seemingly-comfortable 9-4 lead, but the A's came storming back in the bottom of the ninth, scoring four runs to cut the lead to 9-8. Oakland had the bases loaded with two outs, but the improbable rally ended with a Jemile Weeks pop up.
It was far from a pretty outing from Madison Bumgarner (9-4), as he allowed 11 hits and four earned runs in six innings of work, but it was enough to earn the victory. The Giants used four different relievers in the bottom of the ninth inning but Clay Hensley got the final out to record his second save of the year.
Buster Posey and Brandon Belt both went 2-for-3 with a home run, while Pablo Sandoval added two hits and two runs scored.
Tyson Ross (2-7) suffered yet another loss for the A's, allowing five runs (three earned), four hits, and four walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Josh Reddick went 3-for-4 with three RBI, a stolen base, and a home run, his 17th of the season and his second in as many nights. Brandon Inge, Derek Norris, and Brandon Hicks all knocked in runs in the ninth inning rally.
Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss tied a major league record at his position with three errors in one inning, which helped spark the Giants to their four- run sixth.