Yes, that’s another one of my cheesy headlines. I’m sure it’s been used before, but whatever, it’s late. Matt Cain was solid, but unspectacular in his first start since perfection last week. Solid enough to guide the Giants to a 5-3 victory in the opening game of their series against the Angels.
Cain was iffy. He went five innings and allowed three earned runs. He struck out four, but also walked four and surrendered six hits. It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t awful.
Jerome Williams took the bump for the Halos, but struggled even more than Cain. Williams, who was reportedly taken to the hospital after leaving the game, labored through three and a third innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks. As of this writing, “He’s doing much better now,” according to his fan page on Facebook. Yes, I’m quoting a Facebook fan page. Now, where’s my Pulitzer?
The Angels got on the board first, when Mike Trout lead off the bottom of the 1st with a base hit, then stole second, advanced to third on a shallow fly, then scored on a sac fly from Albert Pujols. Trout isn’t just fast, he’s a really, really good baserunner.
San Francisco responded in the top of the 2nd inning when, with runners on first and second, Brandon Crawford tripled to deep right. Yes, Brandon Crawford hit a triple. The Giants lead 2-1.
The game was tied at 2-2 when Mark Trumbo crushed his 16th home run of the season in the bottom of the second.
In the 3rd inning, the Giants strung together three consecutive one-out singles, the first coming from Melky Cabrera, who would eventually score to bring the score to 3-2. San Francisco added another run in the 4th inning when Joaquin Arias scored from third on a Ryan Theriot single.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Angels loaded the bases to start the inning. Bobby Wilson came to the plate and smacked a ball to left field for a sacrifice fly that made the score 4-3. Mike Trout followed Wilson by grounding the ball straight to the pitcher (Cain), who threw out the runner (Izturis) at home. Trout stole second, then Torii Hunter walked to reload the bases for Pujols, who grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Joaquin Arias would score again in the 6th inning after a leading off with a double and being singled in by Ryan Theriot.
The Giants’ bullpen was fantastic, tossing four hitless innings to hold onto the 5-3 victory.
It wasn’t a terrible loss, but the Halos failed to capitalize on an excellent situation with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 4th. That set the tone for the rest of the night, as the Angels’ only baserunner for the rest of the game came when Kendrys Morales walked to start the bottom of the 5th inning.
The teams go at it again Tuesday night, when Barry Zito will take the bump against C.J. Wilson.
Hudson Belinsky can be followed on Twitter at @hudsonbelinsky.