Cain roughed up in potential final rehab start

Cain roughed up in potential final rehab start

If Matt Cain's outing Friday night doesn't prompt the Giants to think twice about installing him in their starting rotation next week, it'll at least leave the team hoping for instant and vast improvement.

Cain was hit hard and often in Lancaster, Calif., where he pitched for Class A Advanced San Jose in what was intended to be his final Minor League injury rehabilitation start before facing the Red Sox on Wednesday.

But Cain's performance, in which he allowed nine earned runs and 10 hits in four innings, will at least cause the Giants to wonder what happened. Cain, who's recovering from an injured right hamstring, also walked three and struck out two while throwing 93 pitches.

Cain last pitched for the Giants against Milwaukee on June 13, when he allowed three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings while walking five and striking out three before ultimately landing on the disabled list. He's 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA in 11 starts this year.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.