Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Matt Cain’s no-hit bid was broken up by Jay Payton’s infield single with one out in the eighth inning, but the Giants grabbed a 4-2 win over Colorado to enhance their playoff chances.
The Giants, who got homers from Freddy Sanchez and Cody Ross, moved back into first place in the NL West by a half-game over San Diego. The Padres, who lost at home to Cincinnati Sunday afternoon, visit San Francisco for three games to conclude the season.
Cain (13-10) had eight strikeouts in his fourth complete game of the season and 12th of his career. The right-hander gave up three hits, including a pinch-hit, two-run homer to Melvin Mora in the eighth inning. Cain, who walked just one batter, won his fourth straight decision.
The loss for the Rockies, their sixth in seven games, was a huge blow to their playoff chances. Colorado is currently 4 1/2 games behind San Francisco.
Troy Tulowitzki, who drove in five runs, including the game-winner, in Colorado’s 10-9 victory in 10 innings on Saturday, went 0-for-4 Sunday.
Jorge De La Rosa (8-6) allowed four hits and three runs over six innings to suffer his second straight loss. De La Rosa, who allowed five walks and fanned four, had been 6-0 lifetime against the Giants.
Ross walked to lead off the game and Sanchez followed with his seventh homer of the year, a shot to left.
Pat Burrell’s sacrifice fly in the third expanded the lead and Cain still had his no-hitter despite making a mistake in the fifth. Tulowitzki reached first on Cain’s throwing miscue and Ryan Spilborghs walked with one out. Payton and Miguel Olivo both fanned to end the inning.
Ross homered to right field in the seventh and Cain finally had his no-hit bid broken up on a grounder up the middle in the eighth. Juan Uribe fielded the ball, but struggled to get it out of his glove as the throw to first was barely late. Mora’s homer came with two outs, but Cain fanned Eric Young Jr. to finish the eighth and worked around a one-out single to Carlos Gonzalez in the ninth.
The Rockies lost for just the second time in their last 12 day games. They had won 10 straight day games at Coors Field…Olivo had to leave the game after colliding with Tulowitzki attempting to catch a pop up…Cain came into the game with a 13-inning scoreless streak. San Francisco has won each of its last seven games…The Giants host Arizona for three contests starting Tuesday, while the Padres host the Cubs for four games before the big weekend series.