Giants' Cain takes mound in meeting with Rockies

Matt Cain tries to get the San Francisco Giants one step closer to a National League West crown when they continue a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.

That probably won't be a problem, as Cain is 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his last nine starts versus the Rockies. He's been even better against them at home in that stretch, posting a 4-0 mark to go along with a 1.69 ERA. He is 14-7 lifetime against the Rockies with a 2.93 ERA.

Cain matched his career-best in wins on Friday in Arizona, as he improved to 14-5, holding the D-Backs to a run and four hits in five innings. He also walked five batters and saw his ERA drop to 2.93.

"That was a gutsy effort," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It just got to a point where I had to go get him."

San Francisco's magic number was trimmed to seven on Tuesday, as Xavier Nady produced two RBI singles and Tim Lincecum pitched masterfully in San Francisco's 6-3 win.

It appears Lincecum (10-14) has been saving his best for the home stretch. The right-hander struck out six and did not allow a run in 6 1/3 innings. He has given up just 11 earned runs over his last six starts.

"I feel like I'm getting back to (where I was) but there's that fine point where you feel like you're going out there and everything is just kind of working by itself," said Lincecum. "I haven't reached that point yet. I still feel like I'm grinding a little but those harder situations are getting easier to get out of."

Marco Scutaro added three hits, scored twice and drove in a run as the Giants moved 8 1/2 games up on the Los Angeles Dodgers, as they try to nab their second division crown in three years.

The Giants touched up Jeff Francis (5-6) early and chased him from the game after five innings. He allowed two runs on six hits and lost for the second time in as many starts.

Wilin Rosario hit a two-run homer in the top of the eighth for the Rockies, who have lost 11 of 13 overall and 12 of 16 to the Giants this season.

Hoping to reverse that trend on Wednesday will be righty Tyler Chatwood, who is 4-4 with a 5.65 ERA. Chatwood did not get a decision on Friday in San Diego, as he allowed four runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 7-4 win.

Chatwood tossed five scoreless innings to beat the Giants back on Aug. 10 and is 1-1 in three games (2 starts) against them with a 1.59 ERA.