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Cain has seamless transition back to rotation

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy had an inkling that things would work themselves out, that perhaps Matt Cain would make a start in the Giants' rotation sooner rather than later.

On Saturday, Johnny Cueto landed on the 10-day disabled list with blister pains. And on Wednesday, Cain took his spot in the rotation, allowing three runs and five hits over six innings to give San Francisco a shot at a win. The Giants picked up the veteran, who was on the hook for his eighth consecutive loss, by putting together a three-run rally in the eighth for a 5-4 win over Cleveland.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy had an inkling that things would work themselves out, that perhaps Matt Cain would make a start in the Giants' rotation sooner rather than later.

On Saturday, Johnny Cueto landed on the 10-day disabled list with blister pains. And on Wednesday, Cain took his spot in the rotation, allowing three runs and five hits over six innings to give San Francisco a shot at a win. The Giants picked up the veteran, who was on the hook for his eighth consecutive loss, by putting together a three-run rally in the eighth for a 5-4 win over Cleveland.

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"They kind of had an idea with what was going to happen with Johnny," Cain said. "They did a good job of being able to communicate that I was going to start. It was easy to get back into the routine of what we do."

San Francisco's longest-tenured player started strong until he hit a bump in the third. He issued three walks, including the first of Indians starter Carlos Carrasco's career, to give the Tribe a chance to rally.

Despite the mishap, Cain said Carrasco gave him a battle in the nine-pitch at-bat.

Video: CLE@SF: Carrasco battles at the plate, works a walk

"Even in that inning, I made a lot of good pitches," Cain said. "Obviously, walking the pitcher is not a good thing. But he fouled off some good pitches and made me work into that at-bat as well."

Wednesday's start marked Cain's first since July 4. He threw 79 pitches over his six innings.

"He did a nice job," Bochy said. "I'm sure he'd like to have that one inning back when he ended up walking the pitcher and those two walks. But really beside that inning, he located well. He had good stuff. The ball was moving well."

Video: CLE@SF: Belt starts a 3-6-1 double play

Moving forward, the Giants will again call on Cain to fill Cueto's spot. The veteran is scheduled to start again when the Pirates visit AT&T Park next week. Cain's gone at least six innings in each of his last three starts -- a pleasant development.

But this season could be Cain's last as a Giant. He has a $21 million team option for 2018 with a $7.5 million buyout.

Though he didn't work with Cain on Wednesday, Giants catcher Buster Posey is quite familiar with the righty's routine. Posey said statistics don't tell the full story of Cain's season.

"I think he's been pretty consistent this year; maybe the ERA doesn't show it," Posey said. "But in my opinion, he's had a little bit of tough luck with some inherited runners scoring. But it's definitely nice to get him off the hook."

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants, Matt Cain