Cain loses third straight decision, Giants fall to Cubs
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Matt Cain is closer to 100 losses than 100 wins and hasn't had a winning season since helping the San Francisco Giants win the 2012 World Series title.
He has won 12 games the past three years combined. Cain didn't miss a start through his first 7 1/2 years in the big leagues and has been on and off the disabled list ever since.
After the Giants lost to the Chicago Cubs 8-5 on Tuesday night, there's growing concern about the three-time All-Star.
"He's trying to find it," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's giving you everything he's got out there but it's fair to say he's not quite where he's going to be."
Cain gave up two more home runs against the Cubs, a team he used to dominate. He's allowed 11 in his 11 starts. He entered the game with a 5-1 record and an ERA of 2.16 in eight previous home starts against Chicago.
"I made two big mistakes to guys who can hit the ball out of the park," Cain said. "It ended up costing us."
Cain, who missed the final 2 1/2 months of last year with elbow soreness and the first three months of this season with forearm tightness, may still be working himself into playing shape.
"It's part of going through the surgery process," he said. "I feel fine and that's the good thing. I still need to make pitches."
Cain (2-4) was perfect through two innings, needing just seven pitches to get out of the first. It seemed to start falling apart when he walked a batter ahead of Kyle Schwarber's three-run shot in the third.
"He was locked in the first two innings and just lost there," Bochy said. "It just looked like his slot changed a little bit and the ball started flattening out."
Cain allowed hits to four of the first five hitters he faced in the fourth, one of which was Miguel Montero's two-run homer.
"He went through a long rehab and had some setbacks," Bochy said. "Pitches are getting away from him."
The Giants lost their third straight and fifth of six overall to fall 7 1/2 games behind the Cubs for the second wild-card spot. They also fell 2 1/2 games behind the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jake Arrieta (16-6) had his 13th consecutive quality start, the longest streak by a Cubs pitcher in 23 years. He allowed an unearned run on four hits in six-plus innings.
Cain lasted five innings, giving up six runs and eight hits. He walked two and struck out three while losing his third straight decision to fall to 0-3 over six starts since his last win on July 22.
In nine innings against the Cubs this season, Cain has allowed 11 earned runs and 14 hits.
Arrieta retired the first 10 batters he faced before allowing a single to Matt Duffy, who had two hits. The lone run scored as a result of his throwing error in the sixth. Brandon Belt drove in the run on a groundout.
Andrew Susac drove in three with a double and Gregor Blanco drove in a run in the eighth that pulled the Giants to 8-5.
Arrieta also doubled and scored a run on Brandon Crawford's fielding error, ending a season-best eight-game errorless streak for the Giants.
Giants: LHP Jeremy Affeldt was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left knee subluxation he sustained while playing with his children on Monday. RHP Mike Broadway was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to take Affeldt's place. Broadway appeared in six games with the team earlier in the year, recording a 3.68 ERA. ... Crawford left the game early with tightness in his left side.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 4.03) is 4-1 with a 3.43 ERA over his last 10 starts.
Giants: Jake Peavy (3-6, 4.35), a three-time all-star and former Cy Young Award winner, is 8-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 17 starts against the Cubs.