Cain calls it a career, he's sharp as Giants fall to SD 3-2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Matt Cain pitched five shutout innings, then raised his arms and waved his cap, fighting off tears amid a standing ovation as he walked off the mound for final time Saturday in the San Francisco Giants' 3-2 loss to San Diego.
Cain's decorated 13-year career came to an end and the home crowd at AT&T Park saluted the right-hander, a cornerstone of the Giants' championship era who pitched the only perfect game in franchise history.
Cain took a curtain call and exited with a 1-0 lead. He gave up two hits, struck out four and walked one. He made his last start a day ahead of his 33rd birthday and at the close of a $127.5 million, six-year contract.
Beset by injuries in recent years, Cain has said he couldn't imagine pitching for another team. The three-time All-Star finished 3-11 with a 5.43 ERA this year.
Cain pitched the clinching games of the 2010 and 2012 World Series and is among four current players on the team who were part of their three World Series championships over a five-year period. Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval are the others.
Cain hugged Posey on the field, and was greeted by Bumgarner in the dugout.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy put Cain's career up there with Hall of Famers Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry. Cain was 104-118 lifetime.
"This game is about winning championships and this man played a critical role in us winning championships with the job that he did," Bochy said before the game.
"He may not have the lifetime numbers of some of these guys, but the impact that he made in putting some rings on our fingers is something that the others can't quite say," he said.
Making his 342nd start in a career that began with the Giants in 2005, Cain threw 73 pitches in his first game in September.
Wil Myers hit his 30th homer off Giants reliever Reyes Moronta in the top of the sixth to tie it. Myers has six home runs in eight games at AT&T.
The Padres rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the top of the ninth on Austin Hedges' two-out, two-run double off Sam Dyson (3-4), who blew his third save in 17 chances.
Buddy Baumann (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and closer Brad Hand worked the ninth for his 21st save.
Cain threw 2,085 2/3 innings, and started the All-Star Game in his best year in 2012. He was 16-10 with a 2.79 ERA that season and placed sixth in the NL Cy Young Award voting. His perfect game came that June against Houston.
During his prime, Cain established himself among the game's top clutch performers, going 4-2 with a 2.10 ERA in eight career postseason starts. He didn't allow an earned run in 21 1/3 innings in the 2010 postseason.
Cain missed the Giants' run to the 2014 title after having bone chips removed from his right elbow.
Elbow, arm and hamstring injuries limited his workload and effectiveness the last four years of his career.
"He's thrown a perfect game and he's won a World Series, he's done everything there really is to do in the game," Padres manager Andy Green said.