Matt Cain strikes out 11 in one-hitter against Pirates

4 Comments

Matt Cain was nearly perfect in the Giants’ home opener this afternoon against the Pirates. And that’s no hyperbole.

After allowing five runs over six innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks in his season debut on Sunday, Cain bounced back this afternoon by tossing a one-hitter as part of a 5-0 victory. He struck out 11 and didn’t walk a batter in the gem.

And wouldn’t you know it, the only baserunner came on a single by opposing pitcher James McDonald with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. Baseball sure is a funny/cruel game sometimes.

Don’t worry, Cain is pretty used to this whole “close, but no cigar” thing by now. This was his third career one-hitter and his fifth career shutout. One of these days.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.