video thumbnail

SF@SD: Cain hurls eight frames of one-run ball to win

SAN DIEGO -- The doomsayers who predicted that the Giants would crumble following Melky Cabrera's departure gained no credibility Friday night.

The Giants asserted themselves in multiple ways with their 10-1 rout over San Diego. They showed that they retain offensive punch despite the absence of the .346-hitting Cabrera, scoring a season-high eight runs in the third inning and hitting for the cycle with their first four hits. They re-established their proficiency on the road, where they have won 10 of their last 14 games and outscored opponents 103-45. And they leapfrogged Los Angeles to regain first place in the National League West, a half-game ahead of the Dodgers.

The Giants had a lot going for them as they began a stretch of 12 road games in 16 dates.

Thursday's scheduled off-day enabled them to decompress after playing for 20 days in a row and enduring the stress generated by Cabrera's 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone.

"Guys were a little beat up," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Just to get away from everything was good for them."

Being another day removed from the Cabrera controversy helped the Giants.

"It's important that you're resilient in this game," Bochy said. "With what's happened, I thought it was important that we played well and the fellas did. You have to move on, and that's what the guys are doing."

San Francisco faced a Padres team wallowing in offensive futility, having scored one run in 29 innings entering Friday. So it almost seemed unfair that San Diego had to face Matt Cain (12-5), who was at his dominant best. Cain no-hit San Diego until Yonder Alonso doubled with one out in the fifth. The right-hander ultimately lasted eight innings, yielding San Diego's lone run and four hits, and improved to 6-0 in nine starts this year following a Giants defeat.

"He throws everything for a strike and just keeps you off balance," Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal said of Cain. "It was real tough laying off changeups low in the zone. That's why he had a seven-inning no-hitter or whatever it was."

Cain also addressed the Giants' ability to weather the loss of Cabrera.

"What happened on Wednesday was tough on all of us, kind of a shock for all of us," Cain said. "But that's the thing about baseball -- you have to turn the page real fast and the guys did a good job of that."

The third inning offered proof. Thirteen Giants went to bat as they posted the largest scoring inning by a visiting team at Petco Park, which opened in 2004. Every Giant reached base safely in the third, including Cain, who contributed a two-out RBI single after he popped up a bunt attempt earlier in the inning.

"I was definitely not wanting to make the first and third outs," Cain said.

Marco Scutaro, who has 17 RBIs in 20 games with San Francisco, belted a first-inning homer to open the scoring before Brandon Crawford's double christened the big third. Crawford finished 2-for-5 while extending his career-high hitting streak to nine games. He's batting .419 (13-for-31) during his binge.

The inning gained steam with consecutive run-scoring hits from Angel Pagan (triple), Scutaro (single) and Pablo Sandoval (single). After Buster Posey walked, Hunter Pence, who was 1-for-27 against San Diego this year, doubled to score Sandoval with the inning's fourth run. That was the last of six hits yielded by Padres starter Ross Ohlendorf, who departed after walking Brandon Belt. A pair of lucky RBI singles, Gregor Blanco's bloop to left field and Pagan's dribbler toward third base, affirmed that this evening belonged to the Giants. It certainly didn't belong to Ohlendorf (4-4).

"He couldn't really stop any of the momentum that the Giants had," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Ball up to Pence, ball up to Pagan, Sandoval got a ball through. ... Ball wasn't driven down in the zone, ball supposed to be on the corner didn't get there -- he was missing."

Contrast that with the feeling in the Giants' dugout as the inning developed.

"Once it happens, everybody gets that confidence going and they feed off of it," Belt said.

MLB.com Comments