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Scary moment puts a damper on Giants' win


Scary moment puts a damper on Giants' win
SAN FRANCISCO Matt Cain was well on his way to the first 1-0 start of his tough-luck career. The Giants bats again were clicking. Then in an instant, none of that mattered.

The Giants concluded a wildly successful opening homestand with a 7-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers , although instead of jubilation, hushed tones of concern for rookie reliever Joe Martinez permeated from the clubhouse Thursday night.

One out from completing the victory, Martinez was hit near the right temple with a batted ball. After several anxious minutes, Martinez, who was bleeding from cuts on the side of his head and nose and whose right eye had begun to swell shut, was helped from the field to a standing ovation and under the watchful eyes of shaken players on both teams. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital for evaluation.

"I'm still shaking," catcher Bengie Molina said. "He looked pretty good. He was talking to the trainers, but any time you get hit in the head, you don't know what's going on inside."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "It's always a scary moment. It makes you sick when it happens."

Milwaukee center fielder Mike Cameron, still traumatized nearly an hour after he hit the line drive, said, "I just hope he gets a chance to get back out on the field."

Until Martinez crumpled to the ground, everything was right in the Giants' world.

Cain, who ranked last among National League starters in run support (3.32) last season and logged a mind-boggling 15-30 record despite a 3.71 ERA the past two seasons largely because he received the fourth-lowest run support in the league, had plenty of runs to work with Thursday.

Molina did much of the heavy lifting, driving in four runs, but five Giants had at least two hits, including a 3-for-3 day by Fred Lewis. More impressive and encouraging was that the Giants went 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position, starting with Molina's RBI double in the third inning.

"It was good to get a lead early," said Cain, who allowed one run on four hits and struck out five in seven innings. "My biggest thing was to try and stay focused and put a zero up every inning."

With Cain attacking and supported by sparking defensive play by Pablo Sandoval at third base and Randy Winn in right field the Brewers didn't advance a runner past second base until the seventh inning, when two walks (Cain's only two of the game) led the Milwaukee's lone run.

The Giants then turned things over to the bullpen, a seamless transition until Cameron lined a 2-1 fastball toward the mound. The ball hit Martinez on the side of the head and ricocheted so hard that it ended up by the netting in front of the Brewers dugout.

Martinez dropped to his knees, then after briefly standing up, sat down on the grass in front of the mound as the Giants training staff rushed to his aid. Blood could be seen on the side of Martinez's head and face, but he never lost consciousness and left the field under his own power.

Players on both teams looked on helplessly. Cameron appeared particularly upset. TV replays showed him wince as he ran toward first base, and after reaching second base (he got a double on the play) he squatted and hung his head. Even after several teammates and Giants tried to console him, Cameron remained visibly shaken as Brandon Medders warmed up to relieve Martinez.

Contact Laurence Miedema at lmiedema@mercurynews.com.Giants 7,Brewers 1TODAY: Giants (Barry Zito 10-17 last year) at San Diego (Shawn Hill 1-5), 7:05 p.m. TV: CSNBA. Radio: 680-AMINSIDE Barry Zito has a new perspective after a disappointing 2008. Page 3


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 10, 2009

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