SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants placed Matt Cain on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a right forearm contusion, the first time the right-hander has been on the D.L. in his nine-year career.

Cain was injured in the fourth inning of Thursday night's 10-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates when he was struck by a line drive off the bat of Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez.

Cain said before the game that although he laments seeing the end of his long streak of having never missed a start because of injury -- he has been skipped in the rotation only once in his eight full major league seasons -- he agreed with the team's decision.

"It would have been pushing it to make the next start anyway," said Cain. "And without having any days (off before his next scheduled start), it was kind of putting the team in a bind as well. So it's probably a better decision to do that, let it heal up right and not have to worry about it."

Cain will miss at least two starts but said he expects to pitch again this season. He admitted some sadness to having give up his spot in the rotation, even if it's brief.

"You take pride in being able to take the ball every fifth day," he said. "To not be able to do that will definitely be a different situation to sit here and watch somebody start for you. We'll just have to make a new streak."


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Cain said he doesn't know when he will be able to begin throwing again, and neither did manager Bruce Bochy. The manager said if the Giants were in the playoff race, they might have waited before deciding to put Cain on the D.L.

"He's pretty sore, which we knew he probably would be," Bochy said. "In this situation, we're better off being a little cautious with him. Sometimes, it's not bad for a guy to take a little break anyway. Not that he needs one, but this contusion is a pretty good one. Why take a chance now?"

Cain, 8-8 with a 4.43 ERA this season in 26 starts covering 1561/3 innings, was replaced on the roster by Yusmeiro Petit, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Fresno.

The 28-year-old Petit, who is expected to take Cain's spot in the rotation and start at Colorado on Tuesday, was 5-6 in 15 starts at Fresno with a 4.52 ERA. He pitched in one game for the Giants, on July 23, going 51/3 innings of relief against Cincinnati and allowing two runs.

Cain, 28, is in the second year of a six-year, $127.5 million contract. His first D.L. trip comes after 261 major league starts, which is sixth-longest among active pitchers.

In another move, the Giants recalled pitcher Mike Kickham to bolster their long relief staff and optioned infielder Nick Noonan to Fresno.