San Francisco's Matt Cain faces the Braves' Jair Jurrjens.

The Giants have hit a stretch of bad road with injuries and a lack of offense threating to derail their hopes of back-to-back World Series championships. San Francisco suffered another one-run loss to the Braves last night and with the Diamondbacks winning, they are now 3.5 games back of Arizona in the National League West.

Jair Jurrjens

Meanwhile Atlanta sits behind the Phillies in the National League East, and are now six games in front of San Francisco in the wild card race as they go for a sweep of the defending world champions.

The Giants will send Matt Cain to the hill opposite Atlanta ace Jair Jurrjens. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM at Turner Field in Atlanta where the Braves are 37-24 this season.

MLB odds makers are backing Jurrjens, and despite having missed two starts because of a strained right knee, opened him as a -140 favorite with the total at seven.

Tuesday night the Braves used an 11th inning walk off single by Martin Prado to beat the Giants 2-1. Atlanta’s rookie starter Randall Delgado threw six no-hit innings before giving up a solo home run to Cody Ross to start the seventh inning.

The game remained tied at 1-1 until Brooks Conrad doubled to lead off the 11th inning and then scored on Prado’s clutch hit. The Braves are now 11-4 against San Francisco in their last 15 regular-season meetings and have won six straight in the series.

Giant problems

There’s still plenty of baseball left to be played but San Francisco has to be concerned with the direction their season is going. The champs have lost six of their last ten while scoring just 26 runs over that stretch and not only have fallen out of first-place but are losing ground on a daily basis to the both the Diamondbacks and the Braves.

Injury woes

The Giants are dropping like flies. Carlos Beltran was placed on the disabled list with sprained wrist as was reliever Sergio Romo. Pablo Sandoval fouled a pitch off his foot on Monday night and hasn’t played since. Jonathan Sanchez suffered a sprained ankle and was forced out of last night’s game in the third inning.  

San Francisco needs as many healthy bodies as they can get to turnaround a slide that has seen them lose 13 of 18.

Raising Cain

Matt Cain of the GiantsTonight SF turns to Matt Cain (9-9, 3.00 ERA) to try and salvage the final game of the series. The veteran right-hander is 0-3 in his last three starts but has a solid 3.66 ERA over that stretch. In his last 19.2 innings Cain has allowed eight runs but the Giants have given him just four runs of support.

Going back even further his ERA is 2.79 in 38.2 innings but his record is 1-4 and his teammates have given him just nine runs of support. Cain is 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA in five career starts vs. the Braves.

Jair Jurrjens returns to the hill for Atlanta after missing two starts due to a knee injury. Jurrjens (12-4, 2.63 ERA) Since the All-Star break he’s 0-1 with a 6.26 ERA but he’s poised to get back on track against the struggling G-Men.

Freddie on fire

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is on his way to securing the Rookie of the year Award in the National League. The Southern California native is setting the pace for all first-year players hitting .296 with 16 homers and 60 RBI’s.

Freeman who delivered the two run walk-off single on Monday night to beat the Giants is hitting .363 over the last month. He’s been as hot as the Atlanta weather which tonight will feature 80 degree temperatures and clear skies.  

Harvey’s Take: I’m going to make a small play on the ‘under’. It’s no secret that the Giants have no offense and the players who could have helped them are either on the DL or headed there. Jurrjens has established himself as one of the top pitchers in the league while Cain has handled the Braves in recent years including the 2010 playoffs. I expect a low-scoring game that could easily be decided again by one run.

Good Luck.