Sunday’s leftovers (Giants 7, Cubs 5)

Sunday, Sept. 2

CHICAGO — Several developments in Sunday’s 7-5 Giants victory over the Chicago Cubs deserve extra attention:

Matt Cain pitched better than his line indicated (five innings, six hits, five earned runs, two walks, six strikeouts). He threw a perfect first inning that included a strikeout and two comebackers. He struck out two more batters in a scoreless second inning. Cain yielded a run in the third, but that inning might have progressed much differently had he been able to field Darwin Barney’s leadoff dribbler. Cain couldn’t make the play, which was scored a hit.

Yes, Alfonso Soriano pounded a three-run homer off Cain in the fifth inning. But Soriano does that to a lot of pitchers. He became only the 10th player to hit 25 or more homers in four or more seasons as a Cub.

“You turn around and hope the wind catches it,” Cain said. “But when he gets a hold of the ball, I don’t think it matters if the wind’s blowing. He put a good swing on that ball and got all of it.”

That put Chicago ahead, 5-3, until the Giants scored twice in the sixth after two were out with nobody on base. To prolong the inning, the Giants received a double from Xavier Nady, who broke in as a Giant with a nice pair of games (3-for-5, two doubles, two walks, two runs scored and three RBIs). Brandon Belt’s pinch-hit triple scored Nady. Nice work from a guy who was 2-for-10 as a pinch-hitter.

Belt then scored the tying run on a wild pitch that pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff, making his first plate appearance as a Giant since July 30, made possible with his tenacity. Facing reliever Manuel Corpas, Huff worked the count to 2-2 and fouled off a pair of pitches before Corpas threw one in the dirt.

Tying the score so quickly after the Cubs forged ahead gave the Giants a definite lift. “That kept the momentum back on our side, in a way,” Cain said.

Chris Haft

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