MIAMI -- The Giants have considered cutting the September workload for several pitchers, but manager Bruce Bochy said this week that Matt Cain would not be included if he continues to look strong on the mound.
After Saturday's outing, it's hard to imagine Cain getting a breather, even with the Giants sitting far out of the race.
Cain dominated through seven innings of a 6-4 win over the Miami Marlins, giving up just two runs and striking out five. After posting a 5.06 ERA in the first half, Cain has a 2.41 mark in six starts since the All-Star break. He has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last five starts.
Cain has pitched 200 innings in six consecutive seasons and is back on track to reach that mark again. A year after throwing 2491/3 total innings in the regular season and postseason in 2012, Cain said he has never considered accepting extra rest in the season's final weeks. He intends to finish strong.
"That's my plan, and I never thought anything different," Cain said. "I want to finish the year out on a good note."
Bochy said he would watch Cain's delivery and velocity to see if he shows any signs of struggle, as he did often in the first half. So far, Cain has cruised through the second half.
"As long as he's throwing the ball the way he is right now," Bochy said, "we're going to let him go."
Cain went deep Saturday after getting plenty of early support.
A night after scoring 14 runs, the Giants put together a four-run rally in the fourth. With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Pablo Sandoval hit a slow roller to the right side and beat Logan Morrison to first base with a headfirst dive. Both players, along with Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez, hit the bag at virtually the same time, and Sandoval stayed down for a couple of minutes. He said Morrison's spikes clipped him on the arm and face.
Sandoval's burst seemed to catch the Marlins by surprise, but it's been six weeks in the making. The third baseman's older brother, Luis, recently graduated from culinary school and has joined Pablo on the road. With healthy, home-cooked meals, Sandoval said he has dropped 22 pounds.
"I feel good," he said. "It's important to me to come in next year in the same shape I was in in 2011. It's important for me and my teammates."
Sandoval's hustle kept the rally going, and the Giants added a second run on a balk and then two more on Gregor Blanco's triple.
Giancarlo Stanton, one of the game's best power hitters, cut the lead in half with one swing in the sixth. His two-run homer landed in a bar far beyond the left field fence and came one pitch after Cain thought the umpires missed a checked swing call.
An irritated Cain bounced right back, striking out the next three Marlins.
"I was definitely heated," he said. "I can't do that the whole game, it's not possible. But you can use that kind of emotion for an inning."
The Giants tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth on four walks and an infield single. That would prove necessary as the Marlins struck back for two in the bottom of the inning. But Sergio Romo closed the door in the ninth, picking up his 30th save.
"He's handled everything so well," Bochy said of Romo. "He's held up great. Here we are in August, and he's still getting it done. He does very well in that closer role. Going into the season, I thought I'd have to keep a close eye on him, but he's held up very well."
"I want to be here," he said, smiling and pointing at his former Giants teammates. "I had too much fun here. I've got two more years left."
Mota said he plans to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic this offseason. He had a 4.18 ERA in three seasons with the Giants but was suspended for 100 games last season after testing positive for a banned substance, which Mota said was in children's cough medicine that he ingested without reading the label.
"You know, he's older," Bochy said, smiling. "He needs his days. You have to be honest with that."