MILWAUKEE â€" Lorenzo Cain plans to be back in the lineup Sunday afternoon when the Milwaukee Brewers wrap up a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park [url= http://www.authenticstampab...ersey]Alex Cappa Color Rush Jersey[/url] ,
Cain had been on the disabled list with a sore groin since June 26 and was eligible to return Wednesday, but the final step of his recovery took slightly longer than expected. He went through a full workout Saturday afternoon at Miller Park and after getting through it without issue declared himself ready to go.
â€śIâ€™ll be playing tomorrow,â€ť Cain told reporters as he walked off the field after his workout.
Since signing a four-year, $80 million contract with Milwaukee in January, Cain has been a force in the batterâ€™s box and in center field. He was slashing .291/.394/.438 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 72 games for the Brewers, numbers that make him a leading candidate for a spot when All-Star rosters are announced Sunday evening.
The 32-year-old has made an All-Star team once in his career â€" in 2015 with the Kansas City Royals, but Brewers manager Craig Counsell said the chance of Cain landing a spot on the National League roster had no bearing on his return timeline.
â€śThe all-star game is a separate entity,â€ť Counsell said. â€śHe feels really comfortable right now and is doing really good. If everything turns out well today, then weâ€™re set for tomorrow and the next day.â€ť
Reinstating Cain will require another roster move for the Brewers. The team has managed its roster on a nearly daily basis this season, shuttling fresh arms and hot bats back and forth between Milwaukee and Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Part of it, naturally, has been based on need, but part of it is also an attempt to create the strongest roster possible on any given day.
â€śOur point of doing it is just to kind of optimize our roster every day, â€ť Counsell said. â€śYou go into a game with kind of a forecast of the game a little bit. If you need the pitching, you have to have the pitching. But if you donâ€™t need the pitching, you have to have the position player. You have to let the previous games dictate it for you and tell you whatâ€™s going to happen.â€ť
Junior Guerra (5-5, 2.87 ERA) was part of that shuffle already this season. He opened the year with Colorado Springs and was brought back to Milwaukee when the need arose. The right-hander hasnâ€™t let up since and takes the mound Sunday afternoon looking for a victory in a third consecutive start.
Guerra threw five shutout innings in a no-decision in his only appearance versus Atlanta in 2016.
The Braves counter with left-hander Sean Newcomb (8-3, 3.10), whose last outing was one heâ€™d like to forget. Pitching through sweltering heat and humidity [url= http://www.authenticstampab...sey]Jordan Whitehead Color Rush Jersey[/url] , Newcomb was tagged for five runs, three hits and five walks while working 2 2/3 innings at Yankee Stadium.
â€śI guess it was one of those days,â€ť Newcomb said. â€śIt was definitely a hot one. I had to go out there and deal with the elements and a good lineup. I just didnâ€™t have my best stuff.â€ť
Newcomb was 7-1 with a 2.07 ERA in the 11 previous starts and will be looking to revert to that form Sunday when he faces Milwaukee for the first time in his career.
A pair of rookies helped the Giants get their weekend in Arizona off to a winning start. Andrew Suarez pitched six strong innings, Austin Slater had a pair of RBI doubles and San Francisco beat the Diamondbacks 2-1 on Friday night.
Suarez (3-4), a 25-year-old left-hander, gave up a run, scattering seven hits in his first win in five starts. The left-hander struck out five and walked two.
Five of the singles Suarez allowed were infield hits, including one that died halfway down the third-base line, an inch or two off the chalk.
â€ťIt was just weird,â€ť Suarez said of the infield hit spree. â€ťIâ€™ve never seen it like that. But it worked out thankfully. It could have been way worse and theyâ€™d have scored five or six runs.â€ť
Suarez is among the young pitchers who are filling in well for the Giants while the veteran starters work their way back to health.
â€ťWe have difficult decisions the way these kids are throwing,â€ť San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. â€ťAs I said so many times, theyâ€™re doing what youâ€™d hope they would do, is make the decision tough.â€ť
Slater, recalled from Triple-A Sacramento four times this season â€" most recently last Saturday â€" doubled in a run off Patrick Corbin in the second and knocked in the go-ahead score off Andrew Chafin (1-3) in the seventh. Slater, who entered the game 4 for 15 in the majors this season, also singled.
Heâ€™s become accustomed to the back-and-forth trips to Sacramento.
â€ťThe first couple of times up and down itâ€™s easy to lose focus,â€ť Slater said, â€ťbut for me, I see it as a way to try to prove a point [url= http://www.authenticstennes...ey]Rashaan Evans Color Rush Jersey[/url] , that I was here to stay.â€ť
One of these trips, after a few more of these nights, he may be right.
Will Smith pitched a perfect ninth for his first save since April 13, 2014. San Francisco relievers retired the last 12 batters they faced.
Chafin, relieving Corbin in a 1-1 tie, walked Brandon Crawford, who scored from first when Slater doubled to the right-center gap.
Corbin limited San Francisco to a run on four hits, striking out five and walking one in six innings, but left with his second straight no decision. In his previous outing, Corbin blanked Pittsburgh on three hits for seven innings and matched his career strikeout best with 12. Corbin last won on June 5 at San Francisco.
â€ťPatrick was great today,â€ť Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. â€ťHe did everything we asked him to do. Would have sent him back out there in the seventh inning to get couple of hitters but we decided to pinch-hit for him. Unfortunately, one of the hazards of the National League game, but he did a great job and gave us a chance to win the game.â€ť
The NL West-leading Diamondbacks opened a 10-game homestand after an 8-2 trip.
The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the second. Buster Posey led off with a single and took second when Chris Owings bobbled the ball in center. Slater brought Posey home with a one-out double.
The Diamondbacks finally got to Suarez tied it in the sixth. Ketel Marte led off with a double to the fence in right-center. Owings was called out on a groundout to third on a close play. Arizona challenged and the call was overturned after a video review, leaving runners at first and third and no outs. Jake Lambâ€™s sacrifice fly to left brought home Marte and made it 1-all.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (right elbow strain) made his second rehab start Friday night for Triple-A Sacramento.
Diamondbacks: CF A.J. Pollock (fractured left thumb) made his first rehab start, with Triple-A Reno.
Yoshihisa Hirano set a Diamondbacks record with his 25th consecutive appearance without allowing a run, getting the final two outs of the seventh inning. The Japanese right-hander broke the previous record of 24 shared by Brandon Lyon (2008) and J.J. Putz (2012).
Itâ€™s tied with Shigetoshi Hasegawa of Seattle (2003) for second-longest streak in the majors by a Japanese-born pitcher. Koji Uehara of Boston had 27 straight scoreless appearances in 2011.
Giants RHP Derek Rodriguez (2-1, 3.82 ERA) makes his sixth major league start. San Francisco has won four of his previous five. Arizona RHP Shelby Miller (0-1, 12.27) makes his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery in the second game of the three-game weekend series.