(Sports Network) - Matt Cain will try to pitch San Francisco to a series
victory this afternoon as the NL West-leading Giants play the rubber match of
a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs.
Cain had won three straight starts before not getting a decision in a 3-2 win
at the Houston Astros on Tuesday. The right-hander allowed two runs on six
hits and three walks over 7 1/3 innings, but nearly took a loss before the
Giants scored twice in the ninth inning.
Instead, Cain remained at 13-5 on the season with a 2.82 earned run average
through 26 starts.
The 27-year-old was excellent against the Cubs on June 2, giving up a run over
eight innings while striking out seven. Cain improved to 6-2 lifetime versus
Chicago with a 2.06 ERA in 12 starts.
Opposing Cain will be Cubs left-hander Travis Wood, who tries to avoid a ninth
straight losing decision and earn his first win since July 6.
Wood dropped his third start in a row on Tuesday versus the Milwaukee Brewers
despite going at least seven innings for the third time in his last four
appearances. He yielded three runs on five hits in a 4-1 loss, dropping to
4-11 with a 4.71 ERA in 19 starts this year, 11 of those quality outings.
The 25-year-old lefty would love to snap his drought with a first career
victory over the Giants. He nearly had it back on June 3, but instead suffered
a tough-luck 2-0 defeat after yielding a run over seven innings with seven
strikeouts. That left Wood 0-2 with a 4.74 ERA in three career meetings with
After losing Friday's opener, the Giants bounced back with their ninth victory
in 12 games by downing the Cubs 5-2. Xavier Nady highlighted a big first
inning with a three-run double and Tim Lincecum allowed two runs over 6 1/3
Nady was making his Giants debut after having his contract purchased from
Triple-A Fresno prior to the game and he helped the Giants maintain a 4 1/2-
game edge over the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the division.
"We know what's at stake and we know it's coming down to crunch time,"
Lincecum said after striking out seven with three walks.
David DeJesus hit a two-run homer for the Cubs, who were aiming to win three
in a row for the first time since July 28-30. Justin Germano allowed five runs
on six hits over five innings.
The Cubs, though, were limited to just five hits as they were kept off-balance
"He knows how to get through lineups with his offspeed stuff and his change-up
and curveball," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Lincecum. "It's not the same
Cy Young stuff that we all remember him from."
The Giants defeated the Cubs for the sixth time in the last seven meetings,
including a four-game sweep at home from June 1-4.
The Sports Network