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Cain has Rocky start

Cain has Rocky start
There was no way the Giants rotation could maintain its two-week run of dominance. The surprise Saturday was that Matt Cain turned in the clunker.

Cain has been the Giants' most consistent starter and is off to the best start of his career. But he scuffled through six innings in the Giants' 5-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park in an outing that could have been much worse.

Cain didn't allow more than two runs in any of his first four starts and entered May unbeaten, but he was tagged for all of the Rockies' runs. Only several sterling defensive plays behind him, notably double plays started by shortstop Edgar Renteria in the first and right fielder Nate Shierholtz in the fourth, prevented additional damage.

In all, three of the seven hits off of Cain (2-1) were home runs, and he tied a season-high with four walks and tied a season-low with three strikeouts.

"I just wasn't locating with my fastball," said Cain, whose ERA ballooned from 2.08 to 3.09. "I wasn't able to get ahead with it."

Manager Bruce Bochy said, "Walks hurt him, as did the longball. Matt's been throwing great. He was just a little bit today."

The overcast afternoon got off to a rough start for Cain when the second pitch he threw was hit into the left-field stands by Rockies leadoff man Ryan Spilborghs. It never got any better for Cain, who would yield a two-run homer to Spliborghs in the fifth, or the Giants , who lost for just the fourth time in 13 home games.

One of the few highlights for the Giants was Schierholtz's gem. He made a lunging catch near the wall, spun and fired to first base in time to double-up Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Rockies right-hander Jason Marquis (4-1) continued his career-long mastery over the Giants , taking a shutout into the ninth inning. Pablo Sandoval's homer over the right-field wall to lead off the ninth prevented the Giants from being shut out for the second time this season.

Marquis, who is 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA in eight career starts against the Giants , allowed five hits. Three were infield singles.

"I like the mound here, I feel like I'm right on top of the hitters," Marquis said, "and, I like the cold."

The Giants squandered several chances early in the game to get to Marquis and to take some of the pressure off of Cain. With the Giants trailing 2-0, Emmanual Burriss reached third with one out in the third and didn't score, and the Giants couldn't cash in on a first-and-second, two-out situation in the fifth. Both rallies fizzled at the top of the order.

"He was able to keep us off balance," said Giants leadoff man Randy Winn. "We had some chances. I personally had some chances. I didn't get the job done. ... I know this wasn't one of (Cain's) better outings, but he battled out there.''

Coming into the game, the Giants' rotation had been virtually untouchable.

Cain, Tim Lincecum, Randy Johnson, Barry Zito and Jonathan Sanchez had allowed 12 earned runs in their previous 12 starts combined. None of the Giants starters had allowed more than three earned runs in an outing during the stretch, and the only hint of a rough outing was when Johnson failed to get through the fourth inning on April 25 at Arizona in a game the Giants won 5-3.

The difference for Cain on Saturday was his command, which has been impeccable early in the season. Two of the home runs he allowed came to the first batter of an inning. He also walked the leadoff man twice, including Marquis to lead off the fifth, and both of those runners eventually scored.

"You just want to put it behind you," Cain said, "and come out next time and turn it back around."

Rockies 5, Giants 1 ?Today: vs. Colorado, 1 p.m. ?TV/Radio: CSN/KNBR (680)

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 4, 2009

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