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PIT@SF: Cain pitches a one-hitter vs. Pirates

A closely contested series gives way to a tremendous pitching matchup in Wednesday's rubber match between the Phillies and Giants. Two strong starting rotations are offering a pair of aces when Cliff Lee and Matt Cain share the bump.

Lee takes the ball aiming to give the Phillies a rare feat -- winning a series in AT&T Park. The Phillies have won just four of 13 series by the bay dating back to 2000. If Lee's regular-season track record offers anything, it should be confidence. The left-hander has been nothing short of stellar in San Francisco between April and September.

Lee owns a 3-0 record and miniscule 0.72 ERA in 25 innings (three starts) with 18 strikeouts and three walks. However, Lee's most memorable outing at AT&T Park likely came during the 2010 World Series. Then pitching for the Rangers, Lee was roughed up for seven runs (six earned) and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in Game 1.

Cain could put the pressure on Lee if he comes anywhere in the neighborhood of duplicating his previous outing. Cain put together what may have been the best start in the history of AT&T Park when he tossed a one-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and zero walks against the Pirates last Friday.

Combine Lee's success in AT&T Park with Cain's dominance of the Phillies in 2011, and Wednesday's series finale could shape up to be memorable. Though he went 1-1 against the Phillies in 2011, the right-hander allowed just three runs (one earned) over 15 innings (0.60 ERA) with nine strikeouts in two starts. Cain has allowed just five earned runs in his last 28 innings vs. Philadelphia dating back to 2008.

Phillies: Victorino extends hitting streak
Shane Victorino extended his hitting streak to 10 games Tuesday with a double, and thanks to a walk on Opening Day, he has reached base safely in every game. Victorino is hitting .302 (13-for-43) this season with one home run and three RBIs.

• The Phillies went 23-10 against the National League West in 2011, which matched a franchise high for wins against a division since MLB transitioned to the six-division format. The Phillies went 23-20 against the NL West in 1995.

Giants: Sandoval also streaking
Pablo Sandoval also extended his hitting streak Tuesday. Sandoval swatted a double off Joe Blanton to push his streak to 11 games and has now hit safely in every game this season. He is tied with the Twins' Josh Willingham for the longest active streak in the Majors. Sandoval is hitting .341 (15-for-44) with two home runs, nine RBIs and eight runs scored.

• Ryan Theriot is expected to get the start at second base over Emmanuel Burriss, given the left-handed Lee will be on the mound.

Worth noting
• With 96 home runs as a Phillie, Jim Thome is four roundtrippers shy of becoming the fourth player in Major League history to tally 100 home runs with three different teams. Thome hit 334 home runs with the Indians and 134 home runs with the White Sox. Alex Rodriguez (Mariners, Rangers, Yankees), Reggie Jackson (Angels, Yankees, A's) and Darrell Evans (Braves, Giants, Tigers) are the other players to accomplish the feat. Comments