Cain, Giants Make Easy Work of Bucs
PITTSBURGH – Matt Cain allowed two hits over 6 2-3 innings and the San Francisco Giants pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-0 on Thursday night.
A year to the day after throwing a perfect game against Houston, Cain (5-3) was nearly flawless again. He struck out three and walked two, giving up a single to Garrett Jones in the fifth and a double to Andrew McCutchen in the seventh.
Hunter Pence hit his 11th homer of the season, while Buster Posey, Gregor Blanco and Joaquin Arias had three hits apiece for San Francisco, which avoided a sweep by spoiling Charlie Morton’s return from Tommy John surgery.
Morton (0-1) surrendered four runs on seven hits, striking out five and walking one. The right-hander also hit three batters while making his first major league start in more than a year.
The Giants didn’t knock Morton around so much as chip away. San Francisco touched Morton for a run in each of the first two innings then added two more in the fifth before breaking things open with five runs in the sixth against reliever Mike Zagurski.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle initially hinted the 29-year-old Morton might not have much time to prove himself for the surprising Pirates. A stream of injuries to the starting staff may change things. Staff ace A.J. Burnett joined Wandy Rodriguez, Jeanmar Gomez and James McDonald on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday afternoon with a strained right calf.
Morton, who became a father for the first time earlier this year, anticipated nerves – and it showed. He walked Blanco leading off then drilled Brandon Crawford before Posey followed with a single to left. Morton, his fastball topping out at 96 mph, settled down to end the inning with consecutive strikeouts, but by then Cain already had all the breathing room he would need.