After two solid spring starts, Giants pitcher Matt Cain got knocked around for five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings as the Oakland Athletics beat a Giants split-squad 8-7 on Saturday.
“I threw the ball all right,” Cain told the Associated Press. “Obviously, I left a good bit of breaking balls up and they took advantage of that, so I’m going to go back and kind of check on what I did on that.”
Like we said with Lincecum, this is not reason for worry with Cain. It’s spring and he’s clearly working on things. That is evident by the fact that he did not walk a batter and struck out three. So he was clearly around the plate. During the regular season, you would not see a Cain outing that involved eight hits surrendered and no walks.
More disturbing is the Giants continued struggles against their opponents’ starting pitcher. Against Oakland’s Gio Gonzalez, the Giants managed just two hits in three scoreless innings. And those hits were not impressive. Mark DeRosa had a double that popped out of an Oakland outfielder’s glove and Aaron Rowand had a bloop single.
During the spring, the Giants have scored eight runs in the first inning, but six of those runs have come in two games against Seattle’s Doug Fister. They’ve scored 5 runs in the second inning, but 4 came in one start against Colorado’s Jeff Francis. And in the third inning, the Giants have tallied 6 runs — five came against in one game against Chicago’s Carlos Zambrano.
On Saturday against Oakland, the Giants hitters came to life against the A’s relievers.
Inside the box score
Aaron Rowand was 2 for 3 with a walk and RBI. He’s hitting .476 this spring.
Aubrey Huff had a double in three ABs. He’s hitting .353.
Mark DeRosa was 2 for 3 with a double and run scored.
Bengie Molina was 1 for 2 with a double, run, RBI and walk. He’s hitting .467.
Buster Posey continues to make the Giants think about what they plan for the young catcher this season. Posey went 2 for 4 with a double, walk and RBI. He’s hitting .368.
Nate Schierholtz was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
Left-hander Dan Runzler maintained his 0.00 spring ERA by striking out the side in the eighth.