Cain overcomes shaky start to pitch well

This time, Cain rights the ship

PHOENIX -- Giants hard-throwing right-hander Matt Cain was concerned when the Milwaukee Brewers teed off on some of his pitches in the first inning of Tuesday's game at Maryvale Baseball Park, won by the Giants, 8-4.

"The last outing I got hit up and I started pitching high again here," Cain said, adding that he talked to Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti "and he told me I just had to keep it down to the knees."

Cain reversed the trend and instead of allowing his appearance to get away from him, he reined it back in this time, limiting the damage to just the two early runs.

Against the Los Angeles Angels last Thursday, he allowed five runs on five hits. This time it was two runs on four hits as he became the second Giants pitcher (joining Kevin Correia) to work four innings.

"When I got in a groove I felt good," Cain said. "I got into every situation I wanted with the hitters and found that what I wanted to do in my mind, I was able to translate into doing it."

Cain hit the first batter he faced, and then gave up a triple to Mike Cameron. After Prince Fielder hit a sacrifice fly, Cain worked out of the inning and looked good the rest of the way.

He ended all four of his innings with strikeouts, and got out of one jam with a double play.

"He's just getting ready for the season," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I was glad to see him settle down the way he did. He started mixing up his pitches better as he went."

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Kevin Gryboski, Billy Sadler, Steve Kline and Jack Taschner each pitched a scoreless inning, while Bartolome Fortunato allowed two unearned runs in his inning.

"We put things together today," Bochy said. "The bats woke up and the pitching, too."

Second baseman Ray Durham led the offense, collecting four of the Giants' 13 hits against Ben Sheets and Zach Jackson.

"Ray is playing well on both sides of the ball," Bochy said. "He's swinging the bat and he turned a nice double play on defense."

Durham says staying back on the ball has helped improve his spring average to .435.

"I'm feeling all right," he said. "I'm seeing the ball very well. I'm looking for the ball more toward my body instead of away from it."

Rick Eymer is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.