05/18/10 2:28 AM ET
Giants remain vexed by Padres
Cain takes loss despite quality start vs. San Diego
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
"You make mistakes against these guys, they're going to take advantage of them. That's what happened," said Cain, who remained luckless against San Diego despite allowing only two runs in six innings. The right-hander fell to 4-8 lifetime against the Padres, though his ERA in 21 appearances is 3.12. David Eckstein, who persists in tormenting the Giants, lined a single off Sandoval's glove to prolong the fifth inning. Cain walked Gonzalez before Chase Headley grounded a single on a 2-2 pitch. Sandoval nearly caught Eckstein's hit with a backhanded try, but couldn't quite squeeze the ball.
"He hit like a cutter," Sandoval said, describing, from his vantage point, the ball's veering left-to-right path. The Giants trailed only 2-1 in the seventh inning when Sergio Romo's first pitch to Kyle Blanks grazed the San Diego left fielder, who was in an 0-for-26 skid and batting .157 at the time. That came with the bases loaded and forced in a run. The inning began with Dan Runzler walking Eckstein, naturally enough.
"You're asking for trouble when you do that," Bochy said.That expanded San Diego's cushion entering the late innings and made a difference, particularly when Aubrey Huff doubled to open the Giants' ninth against Padres closer Heath Bell. Instead of being able to prolong the game with just a run, the Giants needed a pair, which wasn't forthcoming as Bell fanned Juan Uribe and pinch-hitter Eugenio Velez and retired Nate Schierholtz on a fly to center. Bochy was reduced to lamenting hard-hit outs, though in fairness, the Giants accumulated several of them. Aaron Rowand hit sharp grounders directly to infielders in his first two at-bats, Andres Torres hoisted flies in the third and fifth innings that died a foot or two in front of the outfield wall, and Schierholtz lined a scorcher directly at third base to end the seventh. That ended the evening for Padres left-hander Clayton Richard (3-2), who's 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three starts against the Giants this year. Next up for San Francisco's is Padres right-hander Mat Latos, who was separated from a perfect game last Thursday at San Francisco by Eli Whiteside's sixth-inning infield single. The Giants realize the challenge they face. "All you can do," Bochy said, "is try to hit the ball hard."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.