Matt Cain throws 55 pitches in first minor league rehab start

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Giants right-hander Matt Cain made his first minor-league rehab start Tuesday, throwing 3.2 innings at Double-A as he comes back from a strained flexor tendon and surgery to remove bone ships from his elbow that have sidelined him since July of last year.

Cain allowed two runs on three hits in 3.2 innings, striking out two, walking two, and throwing 55 pitches. He’s aiming to come off the disabled list in early July, presumably bumping Ryan Vogelsong from a deep Giants rotation that just saw rookie Chris Heston throw a no-hitter Tuesday night.

Cain posted 2.93 ERA in 131 starts from 2009-2012, throwing 200-plus innings every season, but he had a 4.00 ERA in 184 innings two years ago and last year was shut down after just 15 starts with a 4.18 ERA. He’s making $21 million this season and under contract for the same salary in 2016 and 2017.