Matt Cain and Joe Panik both moved one step closer to rejoining the injury-riddled Giants on Friday, contributing in a 6-1 River Cats win in Sacramento.
Cain's first action since being put back on the disabled list came in relief. The right-hander held the Albuquerque Isotopes scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings, giving up one hit and striking out three in 32 pitches.
The three-time All-Star sat out the first three months of the season with a forearm injury, and hit the disabled list a second time on Aug. 28 with nerve irritation in his elbow.
[RELATED: Giants place Cain on DL, call up Heston]
In 10 second-half starts between his DL stints, Cain went 2-4 with a 6.15 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.
Panik, who has been out since Aug. 2 with a lower back injury, started at second base and went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Barring any setbacks, Panik is expected to make one more rehab start and play in San Francisco's series opener against the Diamondbacks on Monday.
The 24-year-old is slashing .309/.374/.443 this season and has been virtually error-free at second (.996 fielding percentage). Panik made headlines last night with an incredible bare-handed play in his first rehab game for the River Cats.
The Giants dropped their seventh-straight game Friday night in Colorado, and are dangerously close to being eliminated in the NL West race.