The Giants escaped with a needed win Sunday to salvage a 4-5 homestand before opening a six-game road trip to Los Angeles and Arizona.
What they couldn’t do was get Matt Cain a win.
Cain did his part, limiting the Brewers to two runs on six hits and a walk in seven solid innings of work. He left with a 3-2 lead, but the bullpen and more precisely the defense let him down in the ninth.
Santiago Casilla was charged with his first blown save of the season, although it should have been charged to the defense as the lone run Casilla allowed was unearned.
It all started with an error by third baseman Conor Gillaspie on a ball hit by Corey Hart to open the inning. Casilla got the next batters out before Travis Ishikawa tied the game with a run-scoring double.
Well, that’s how it read in the scoreboard. In real life, Angel Pagan took a bad line to the fly ball to left center and could not catch up with a ball slicing away from him. Then Melky Cabrera did not get over in time to cut off the ball for a single and keep Hart from scoring.
But the Giants earned the win in the 11th after Buster Posey led off with a single and went to second on Pagan’s sacrifice. Brandon Belt was intentionally walked, then Ryan Theriot was unintentionally walked to load the bases.
Then with the Brewers using a five-infielder, two-outfielder set with the speedy Emmanuel Burriss, now pinch running for Posey, at third, Hector Sanchez slapped a 3-2 pitch into left for the game winner.
For Cain, that is five consecutive quality starts after the season-opening hiccup in Arizona. Yet he has a 1-2 mark over those five starts, despite a 1.61 ERA.
Par for the course for Cain.
- Angel Pagan went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 20 games.
- For the second consecutive game, the Giants went 3 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
- SS Brandon Crawford return to the lineup after two games off to clear his head. He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, but he DID NOT commit an error.
The Giants and Dodgers tangle for the first time this season when Barry Zito faces Ted Lilly at 7:10 p.m. Monday in Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, it’s Ryan Vogelsong vs. Clayton Kershaw, 7:10 p.m. on MLB Network
On Wednesday, it’s Tim Lincecum vs. Chad Billingsley, 7:10 p.m.