San Francisco Giants' Matt Cain Not Perfect vs. Angels, but Good Enough to Win

Mark ProbstCorrespondent IJune 19, 2012

Matt Cain, far from perfect, still earns his ninth win.
Matt Cain, far from perfect, still earns his ninth win.Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Matt Cain (9-2) took the mound Monday evening for the San Francisco Giants against the Los Angeles Angels in his first start since throwing the 22nd perfect game in major league history. 

Though far from perfect and struggling with location most of the night, Cain battled through some tough innings to keep himself in the ballgame through the fifth inning. 

Due to early run support, great defense and a perfect four innings from the bullpen, Cain earned his ninth win as the Giants beat the Angels 5-3. 

After retiring 27 straight batters in his last start, he surrendered a hit to the first batter he faced. 

Mike Trout, who singled to left field to start the game, came around to score, staking the Angels to an early one-run lead. 

The Giants would strike back in the top of the second after Angels starter Jerome Williams (6-5) issued free passes to Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt. Brandon Crawford made him pay with a two-run triple, putting the Giants back on top.

After the Angels evened up the game with a Mark Trumbo home run in the bottom of the frame, it seemed like both teams were headed for double-digit run totals.

While Cain would give up another run in the fourth inning, he settled down and made it through the fifth to qualify for a win if the bullpen could hold onto the 4-3 lead. 

Brandon Belt has been on fire over his last seven games.
Brandon Belt has been on fire over his last seven games.Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Shane Loux, Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla were lights out, not allowing an Angel hitter to reach first base.

Leading the Giants hitters was none other than Melky Cabrera—or the “Melk Man”—as he delivered another three hits, adding to his major league-leading total of 98. 

Ryan Theriot also added three hits and two RBI, upping his average to .275 on the year.

Even more impressive is the week Brandon Belt has put together. With another two hits against the Angels tonight, Belt is hitting .454 over his last seven games (10-for-22) and has raised his average to .261 on the year.

Casilla’s perfect ninth earned him his 19th save in 20 chances, as he lowered his already-miniscule ERA to 1.32.

The Giants take on the Angels again tomorrow in the second game of the three-game series.

Barry Zito (5-4) will try to get back on track versus C.J. Wilson (7-4). Game time is 7:05 p.m.