Giants

All-Star starter Cain sharp in two scoreless innings

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All-Star starter Cain sharp in two scoreless innings

SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Cain is in line to add All-Star Game winning pitcher to his already impressive MLB resume.

The San Francisco Giants' right-handed starter held the American League All-Stars scoreless over two innings of work in Kansas City.

With a World Series win and a perfect game under his belt, Cain was asked by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal to compare those accomplishments with his All-Star outing.

"Its right up there with all of them," Cain said. "Its definitely right up there with all of them -- theres all the nerves, all the pressure, and all the excitement. That was a thrilling two innings right there."

Cain came out of the dugout to work the bottom of the first inning with a 5-0 lead, thanks in large part to his Giants teammates Melky Cabrera, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval.

The only blemish on Cain's pitching line was a leadoff single by Derek Jeter that never left the infield. The New York Yankees' captain hit a ground ball that deflected off the glove of Sandoval to shortstop Rafael Furcal, who couldn't get his throw to first in time to nab Jeter.

After Robinson Cano hit a foul pop up to Sandoval for the first out of the inning, the Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton nearly took Cain deep, but his opposite field shot died at the wall, where Ryan Braun made the catch.

Cain struck out the Toronto Blue Jays' Joey Bautista swinging on a 95 MPH fastball to end the inning.

N.L. manager Tony La Russa allowed Cain to work the second inning, and he did not disappoint with a six-pitch inning. Cain got the Detroit Tigers' Prince Fielder to fly out to Cabrera in center, and Adrian Beltre followed with a sky-scraping fly ball in the infield caught by Furcal. Designated hitter David Ortiz made loud contact against Cain, but his opposite field fly ball ended up in Braun's glove for the final out of the frame.

Cain became the seventh Giants pitcher to start the All-Star Game, as he was preceded by Tim Lincecum (2009), Jason Schmidt (2003), Rick Reuschel (1989), Vida Blue (1978), Juan Marichal (1965, 1967) and Carl Hubbell (1934).

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — If the Giants were in a different situation, Tuesday night’s loss was the kind that really would sting for a few days. As is, it was simply loss No. 77 in a stunningly bad season. 

The Giants went down 4-3 in somewhat familiar fashion, with their offense failing to break through and their bullpen coming up short. But this loss, No. 77, was also about small mistakes, both mental and physical. Let’s count down some of the ways the Giants went down:

--- Gorkys Hernandez, a late addition to the lineup because Hunter Pence has a tight hamstring, dropped a fly ball in deep right in the fourth inning. That cost Jeff Samardzija a run and a few more pitches. Bruce Bochy said Pence likely will be off Wednesday and then return Friday in Arizona. 

--- Bochy pulled Samardzija after just 89 pitches, and it was certainly peculiar in the moment. The thing is, the intention fit in with the reality of this season. Samardzija has carried a heavy load and Bochy was trying to protect his arm a bit. 

“The inning before, he logged some pitches,” Bochy said. “I’ve worked him pretty hard and I’m really looking after him as much as anything. We’re trying to give some guys a break and it didn’t work out. We had some guys lined up in the seventh, eighth, ninth — it just didn’t work out in the seventh.”

--- You can’t really argue with protecting a big-money pitcher in a down year. But Bochy probably wishes he had chosen someone other than Albert Suarez, who was fresher than others but has now given up runs in six of seven appearances. Suarez turned a one-run lead into a one-run deficit. It was more glaring when Kyle Crick entered and pitched 1 1/3 sharp innings. 

--- The Giants still had a chance — it helped that the Brewers took a dominant Josh Hader out of the game just because he’s a lefty and Nick Hundley bats right-handed — and they put two on in the eighth. Denard Span hit a soft single to right and Phil Nevin waved Hundley, who has catcher’s legs. He was out by a mile. Bochy said he was fine with forcing the issue there, although that’s a call Nevin probably wants back. 

Another twist on the play: Bochy could have put speedy Orlando Calixte in for Hundley and then moved Pablo Sandoval over to first in the next inning, with Calixte at third. He didn’t second-guess that decision.

“He was out pretty easily,” Bochy said. “I don’t know if a little more speed would have helped out.”

--- In the bottom of the ninth, Kelby Tomlinson singled. He was promptly caught stealing second with the heart of the order coming up. Again, a decision that went the visiting team’s way. 

Those moments could be defended or second-guessed. On another night, maybe they all work out and the Giants win 3-2, or 6-4. On this night, it was simply a familiar script, and loss No. 77.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Just when it seemed the Giants were starting to find some continuity in their bullpen, they have taken a couple of steps back. 

Two days after Hunter Strickland imploded late, Albert Suarez gave up the lead. The Giants lost 4-3 to the Brewers in a game that dragged. The Brewers did open the window a bit in the bottom of the eighth and Denard Span bounced a single to right with two outs and two on. Phil Nevin waved Nick Hundley all the way around third and Hundley was thrown out by 10 feet to end the inning. 

Anyway, here are five other things to know … 

—- Just one of Jeff Samardzija’s six innings went 1-2-3, and Bruce Bochy turned to the bullpen after just 89 pitches. Samardzija was charged with two runs, one of them earned. It was a little odd that he came out so early. 

—- Suarez entered in the seventh with a one-run lead and gave up two runs before being lifted. He has allowed a run in six of his last seven appearances. 

—- Brandon Crawford momentarily gave the Giants the lead with a two-run homer, his 11th. He is definitely starting to hit his stride. Crawford has four extra base hits and six RBI on the homestand. 

—- Why is it so hard for the Giants to sign power bats? Well, just ask Eric Thames. He hit a 433-foot blast to lead off the third but ended up with just a triple when it bounced off the top of the bricks in right-center. Per Statcast data, Thames is the first player in the last three years to hit a ball more than 430 feet and not get a homer. He was stranded at third. 

—- Over in Sacramento, a couple of rehab appearances went as planned. Johnny Cueto threw three scoreless innings for the River Cats; he will make at least one more minor league start. Joe Panik was 0-for-2 in five innings; he will join the San Jose Giants on Wednesday for another rehab game.