After his last game of 2012, Matt Cain bounded through a Champagne-filled clubhouse and wore a T-shirt and cap that read, "2012 World Series champions."
After his first game of 2013, he wore a tight wrap around his right knee.
Cain was pitching his first inning of the spring Sunday, against the Cubs, when Alfonso Soriano lined a comebacker off the side of the knee. Cain hopped off the mound in discomfort as the ball deflected away for an infield hit.
Cain took two practice pitches, then talked his way into continuing the inning. He allowed all of Chicago's runs in a 4-3 Cubs win, three on a Dioner Navarro homer after Cain was hit. The Giants' Opening Day starter did not return for a second inning that he otherwise would have pitched.
"They know how I am. They know I don't want to come out," he said. "But it's spring training. It's early. You don't want to do anything to linger on the rest of the spring.
"It was kind of an initial shock when you get hit. It takes a little bit to get the feeling back. I feel fine. It's nothing to worry about."
After the practice pitches, manager Bruce Bochy and head trainer Dave Groeschner asked Cain if he could cover first on a groundball. He said he could, then had to do exactly that on his next pitch. Former teammate Nate Schierholtz hit a soft roller to first baseman Brandon Belt, and Cain got to the bag in time to take the throw.
Bochy said that Cain's knee began to swell and that there was no reason to have him pitch another inning so early in spring.
Sandoval clause: Pablo Sandoval is the only Giant to start and play in the field both games, and is 3-for-5. He would not have played at all had he not dropped a few pounds.
"I'll be honest," Bochy said. "I talked to him. We had a deal. He had to get to a certain area before I'd play him, and he did. He dropped some pounds. I talked to him yesterday, and he wants to go out there every day to get ready for the season."
Nate the observer: Schierholtz had an almost out-of-body experience in October. He sat in his rental house in Orinda watching the World Series on television and cheering for the Giants to win him another ring.

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