PHOENIX (CBS/AP) — Matt Cain is starting to find his groove.
The San Francisco righty allowed one run and struck out four in three innings as the Giants beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 on Sunday,
“I had some pretty good movement. I was in pretty much every situation, had guys on and worked out of the windup. But everything was good,” Cain said.
Cain’s results this spring have been a far cry than those posted last season, when he went 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA and threw a perfect game.
In three previous exhibition outings spanning seven innings, he had allowed nine runs — five earned — on 13 hits with only three strikeouts. But against the Brewers, Cain matched his spring strikeout total eight batters into the game.
Cain pitched into trouble in the fourth after striking out Brewers starter Chris Narveson looking. Norichika Aoki and Scooter Gennett singled and Carlos Gomez walked.
Aoki scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Gonzalez and Cain ended the inning by retiring Bobby Crosby on a fly ball to deep center. Cain had been scheduled to throw four innings, but a little stomach upset limited him to three.
“My stomach was a little bit funky this morning so they just wanted to get things going,” Cain said. “I might have gone another inning or so but for the little tummy ache issue. Something just didn’t agree.”
Brett Pill, Cole Gillespie and Nick Noonan had RBI singles for the Giants.
Narveson made his second official appearance and third overall — he started against Team Canada in a World Baseball Classic exhibition Tuesday — and gave up two runs and five hits in three innings.
“Sometimes you come in and you didn’t feel your best and a couple of days later you feel good,” Narveson said. “You’re going to have your ups and downs. It’s part of the process.”
Narveson, who missed nearly all of last season following surgery on his left rotator cuff and labrum on May 1, struck out one.
“I feel ready to pitch,” Narveson said. “I’m taking each step as a platform for preparation for the start of the season. I know if I do that, I’ll be ready to go once the season starts.”
NOTES: Cain said he still hasn’t broken out his slider but likely will in his next start. “We thought about mixing some in but just didn’t do it,” he said. … The Brewers released RHP Kelvim Escobar. Escobar, who has pitched in one game in the majors since 2007 due to a variety of shoulder issues, was diagnosed with a nerve impingement just above his right hand. . Milwaukee will face Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. Greinke was 25-9 for the Brewers over 1½ seasons before he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline last year.
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