Cain, Giants go for sweep of Padres this afternoon

September 7, 2011, 2:29 pm
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Sept. 7, 2011

GIANTS (75-67) vs.
SAN DIEGO (61-81)

Coverage begins at 3:00 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- If the San Francisco Giants can continue taking advantage of teams that are all but out of the playoff race over the final three weeks, then they could still have a shot at defending their championship.

The Giants go for a three-game sweep of the last-place San Diego Padres on Wednesday afternoon.

San Francisco moved into position for the sweep with a 6-4 victory Tuesday. Combined with Arizona's loss to Colorado, the Giants (75-67) cut their deficit to six games behind the NL West-leading Diamondbacks. Each club has 20 games remaining, including a three-game set in Phoenix starting Sept. 23.

Rookie first baseman Brett Pill homered in his first major league at-bat Tuesday for San Francisco, helping Eric Surkamp get his first big-league win.

URBAN: Christian, Pill light up chase for Giants

"It's nice to see those guys come out and do what they did and help us win a ballgame," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

However, a veteran carried the Giants. Carlos Beltran went 3 for 3 after missing one game with food poisoning. He's hitting .733 (11 for 15) with a homer and six RBIs in four games this month, and .387 in 20 games since being acquired from the New York Mets for the stretch run.

Though San Francisco is 8-12 with Beltran in the lineup, they've won six of nine when he has at least two hits.

Making his 200th career start, the Giants' Matt Cain (11-9, 2.85 ERA) will try to beat the Padres for the first time this season.

Cain is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA in three outings against San Diego this year, and 2-5 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 career starts at Petco Park.

He lasted eight innings for the third time in four starts Friday, beating Arizona 6-2 to end the Diamondbacks' nine-game winning streak.

"That's the energy we needed, the way we needed to start off September," said Cain, who yielded two runs, five hits and four walks.

The Padres' Cameron Maybin is 4 for 9 off Cain this season, but is hitting just .232 in 14 games against San Francisco after an 0-for-4 effort Tuesday.

San Diego starter Aaron Harang (12-5, 3.86) looks to continue his outstanding pitching against the Giants in order to avoid a season-high third straight loss.

The right-hander is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts this season versus the Giants - both at Petco. However, the San Diego native is 1-2 with a 4.94 ERA in four home starts since the All-Star break. He had been 5-2 with a 2.92 ERA at home in the first half of the season.

Harang allowed three runs over seven innings of a 3-0 home loss to the Rockies on Friday.

San Diego (61-81) has dropped six of seven at home to San Francisco and 11 of 12 overall.