Pitch­ing gem is lost for Cain as Gi­ants strug­gle at the plate


The Mercury News - - Sports - By Andrew Bag­garly Mer­cury News

SAN DIEGO — Barry Bonds and the Gi­ants are limp­ing to the fin­ish.

Bonds sprained the big toe on his right foot af­ter leap­ing for a ball at the wall in the sec­ond in­ning Satur­day night. He was re­placed in the bot­tom of the third and is ex­pected to miss the next two or three games, Gi­ants Man­ager Bruce Bochy said.

With or with­out Bonds, the Gi­ants had no kick against fill-in starter Brett Tomko and the San Diego Padres in a 6-0 loss at Petco Park.

Matt Cain took an­other un­fair loss de­spite one of his most bril­liant per­for­mances of the sea­son, hold­ing the Padres to one hit over six in­nings. Adrian Gon­za­lez ac­counted for the hit, send­ing a deep drive to the wall in left field that Bonds at­tempted to catch. A fan ap­peared to reach over with his glove and in­ter­fere with Bonds, who came down hard on his right leg and tum­bled into a bar­rel roll.

Bonds went for X-rays, which were neg­a­tive, and wasn’t avail­able to speak with re­porters. He told Cain that the ball was in his glove.

‘‘He felt some­one knocked it out of there,’’ Cain said. ‘‘I’ll take his word for it. I wouldn’t think he’d make some­thing up.’’

Yet Bochy didn’t ar­gue for a ground-rule dou­ble. Gon­za­lez ended up with a triple and scored on Khalil Greene’s sac­ri­fice fly.

That was the only run al­lowed by Cain (7-15). Still, he be­came just the sixth Gi­ants pitcher since 1985 to lose 15 games in a sea­son.

Two pitch­ers on that list were in the ball­park Satur­day. Padres Man­ager Bud Black lost 16 in 1991. And Tomko was a 15-game loser for the Gi­ants in 2005.

Tomko hasn’t fared much bet­ter since then. He was 2-11 with a 5.80 ERA when the Los An­ge­les Dodgers des­ig­nated him for as­sign­ment ear­lier this month. But he dom­i­nat- ed over six shutout in­nings while fac­ing an­other of Bochy’s cu­ri­ously old line­ups.

Prior to the game, Black said he was hop­ing to catch light­ning in a bot­tle with Tomko.

‘‘I think that can qual­ify,’’ Black said.

The Padres im­proved to 11-3 against the Gi­ants this sea­son. They clinched an­other se­ries vic­tory; they have won all five se­ries against Bochy’s club this year.

The Gi­ants are guar­an­teed a los­ing record for the third con­sec­u­tive sea­son — some­thing they haven’t done in three full sea­sons since 1983-85.

Cain has a 2.38 ERA in four starts against the Padres this sea­son, in­clud­ing a pair of one-hit out­ings, but the Gi­ants are 0-4 in those games. Cain has lim­ited the op­po­si­tion to one hit in three starts this sea­son, yet he didn’t win any of them.

‘‘All the guilt is on us,’’ short­stop Omar Vizquel said. ‘‘Not only Cain but the other pitch­ers too. . . . Our big­gest con­cern is the of­fense. We’re not do­ing much in the lit­tle game. Cain is pitch­ing his (butt) off, but it’s not just him. It’s a col­lec­tive strug­gle to score runs.’’

At least Cain, who has two starts re­main­ing, can­not match Ray Sadecki’s San Fran­cisco fran­chise record of 18 losses. He still could be­come the first 17-game loser since Dave LaPoint for the 100-loss team in 1985. Con­tact Andrew Bag­garly at abag­garly@mer­curynews.com

A fan in San Diego ap­pears to reach over with his glove and in­ter­fere with Barry Bonds, who came down hard on his right leg and in­jured his big toe.

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