Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/13/12
PHOENIX Matt Cain had a little extra drive Saturday. The last time he faced the Diamondbacks, he teetered, losing all but one run of a six-run lead in a game the D-backs came back to win. The last time he faced Trevor Cahill, he did not get enough run support to offset a strong outing. Cain took care of both issues in a 5-2 victory over the D-backs, when he had two hits and two RBIs, started the two rallies that turned the game, and struck out eight as San Francisco broke a nine-game losing streak in the series, including the first four meetings this season. "I'm sure he was motivated," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. Cain singling to open the fifth, when the Giants scored the go-ahead run to take a 2-1, and he grounded a two-out, two-run double down the right-field line for some breathing room, 4-1, in the sixth. He did all that after taking a Lyle Overbay one-hopper off his left shin in the fourth. While Gibson gave Cain credit, was disappointed at the lack of carry-over from the D-backs' 5-1 victory in the series opener Friday. "We didn't play well. We didn't swing the bat well. They did a good job of pitching us. We didn't have that many opportunities. They had a lot more pressure on us, actually. All around it was not a good game for us," Gibson said. The D-backs are in an offensive funk, and Cain with his quality pitches simply exacerbated it. The D-backs are 8-15 since center fielder Chris Young, their hottest bat at the time, went on the disabled list April 18. They have scored in spurts, but have two or fewer runs in 11 games since. "He located his fastball, located his off-speed stuff. Same thing he always does. You know what he is trying to do. If he executes his pitches, those guys are tough to beat," said Justin Upton, who has struggled to get going after a thumb injury suffered in the first Giants' series on the opening weekend. The same issues have hurt them during the skid. They were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, scoring on Willie Bloomquist's sacrifice fly in the third inning and a throwing error by Giants' shortstop Brandon Crawford in the seventh, and with 11 strikeouts increased their major league led to 278. "Obviously we are not seeing the ball well as a team. We just need to change our game plan a little bit. We need to shorten up, whatever you want to do. We have to put the bat on the ball and make them make plays," Upton said. The last time the D-backs led the majors in strikeouts, in 2010, general manager Kevin Towers broke up the team in the offseason. That is hardly likely to happen to now. It is more the reverse, biding time for the return of Young and Stephen Drew, two of their more formidable bats. Young could be back by next week, Drew in early June. In the interim, it may be that more subtle changes are necessary. "We have to look at ourselves and figure out ways to put together better at-bats," Bloomquist said. "Two runs a game is not going to cut it. The sense of urgency is there, and when it breaks, it is going to break for us. It's one of those things that it seems like every time you look up you are 0-and-2 (count). He paints a good pitch and gets you in a hole early. "One way or another, we have to figure out ways to put the ball in play more and make them earn their outs. If it's not working for us, we have to switch it up a little bit. Baseball is a good of adjustments, and we need to adjust a little." The D-backs left a runner at second base when Upton struck out to end the third inning in a tie game and left a runner at second when Cahill grounded to Cain and Bloomquist took a third strike to end the fifth trailing 2-1. Cain is effective, Gibson said, because, "He'll throw any pitch at any time. He's very patient when he gets ahead in the count. He'll set guys up. He'll take two pitches to set a guy up. That's part of why he is so successful. He's very hard to pattern." Cahill had given up only four earned runs in his previous four adrenaline-driven starts against the Giants in the Bay Area series, including a 2-1 victory over Cain last June 19 in Oakland, but his command betrayed him Saturday. Cahill walked Gregor Blanco on four pitches to open the game, then threw wildly to first base on an attempted pickoff to move Blanco to third. A grounder brought him in. Melky Cabrera's two-out double after Cain's single in the second made it 2-1, and Cahill hit weak-hitting Emmanuel Burriss and Brandon Crawford with inside pitches before Cain grounded an opposite-field double inside the bag at first for the decisive hit. "I just tried to do too much, I think. With two strikes, I'd been putting away hitters, so I tried to throw an extra-nasty pitch or whatever, and it got away from me. Twice," said Cahill, who Burriss with a curve and Crawford with a changeup. "I didn't feel that sharp today. It looked like after the first he (Cain) didn't look very sharp either, but he's a good pitcher, and he's able to keep his team in the game when he doesn't have his best stuff. It was unfortunate I was unable to get out of that last inning."
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