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Without Shin-Soo Choo, Indians Need Others To Step Up Against San Francisco On Saturday

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(Sports Network) – San Francisco will look to keep pace with Arizona in the National League West when the Giants host the AL Central leading Cleveland Indians in the second game of a three-game set at AT&T Park.

The Giants, who sit a half of a game behind the Diamondbacks, will send Matt Cain to the mound this afternoon. The last time Cain was on the hill, he held Oakland to just one run in seven innings, but since he received no run support, he did not manage a victory.

However, despite his inability to claim a win in that matchup, the right- hander is 6-4 on the year with a 3.44 ERA. Like most pitchers, Cain has pitched better at home, posting a 3-2 ledger with a 2.68 earned run average in six starts.

Cain has only faced Cleveland once before and the contest ended in a loss for the young hurler. In five innings he allowed four runs on eight hits.

The Indians will try to keep their one-game lead over Detroit when they send Justin Masterson to take on the Giants. Masterson opened the season with a 5-0 ledger through the month of April, but since then the right-hander has not seen the win column.

The young hurler is 0-5 in his last 10 outings. The last time Masterson was on the bump he only allowed two runs against Pittsburgh, but he lasted just five innings. He scattered seven hits in the contest and also struck out five batters.

Masterson, who has never faced the Giants, has pitched rather well on the road. In six starts outside of Cleveland Masterson is only 2-3, but has posted a respectable 3.03 earned run average.

On Friday, Andres Torres scored on Aubrey Huff’s foul popup down the left- field line, capping a three-run sixth inning and sending San Francisco to a 4-3 win over the Indians.

Torres had three hits, including a homer, for the Giants, who rallied from a three-run deficit to post their third straight victory. Their three runs in the sixth were unearned, helped by a pair of errors from first baseman Carlos Santana.

“We got a couple of breaks there, you take it,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Carlos Carrasco (7-4) went the distance for the second time in his career, allowing six hits and fanning four. Santana stroked a two-run double in the opening inning for the Indians, who had just two hits and lost for the third time in four tries.

Jonathan Sanchez started on the mound for the Giants and was lifted after walking six batters in 4 2/3 innings. Santiago Casilla (1-1) escaped a bases- loaded jam in the fifth and got the win. Brian Wilson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 22nd save.

Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo suffered a broken left thumb after being hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. With Choo headed to the disabled list, the Indians are expected to recall outfielder Travis Buck from Triple-A Columbus.

“He means so much to us, not only offensively, but defensively and running the bases,” Indians manager Manny Acta said of Choo. “He’s a very important part of our lineup. The way he’s been swinging the bat the last week or so, and the way we know he was going to swing the bat the rest of the season, it’s a big blow.”

San Francisco won two of three encounters with Cleveland from June 24-26, 2008, while the Indians recorded a three-game sweep as the visitor back in the 2005 campaign.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.