SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants are out to their second-best start in franchise history, and if it's possible for the team with MLB's best record to have a coming out party, Friday night was it.
Matt Cain -- with more trips to the disabled list than wins this year -- was activated to throw seven dominant innings, Buster Posey -- with a .192 batting average at home -- belted a tie-breaking two-run home run in the eighth inning, and the Giants claimed a 4-2 victory over the New York Mets in the series opener.
The Giants are now 40-21. The only other time the team collected at least 40 wins in their first 61 games, they lost in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series when Willie McCovey lined out to Bobby Richardson on "the hardest ball he ever struck."
Starting pitcher report
For six innings Matt Cain didn't look at all like the pitcher who missed five of his last eight scheduled starts due to injury.
He retired the first 12 Mets in order. He carried a perfect game into the fifth inning, when Curtis Granderson drew a walk on a borderline inside pitch. He carried a no hitter into the sixth, when Ruben Tejada beat out an infield single. And double plays erased both base runners, allowing Cain walk off the mound in the sixth inning having faced the minimum number of batters.
[RELATED: Giants DFA Huff, clear Cain's roster spot]
But a pair of misplaced sliders in the seven proved to be his undoing.
Matt den Dekker led off with a double down the left-field line and Daniel Murphy followed with a two-run home run onto the facade in right field, and Cain found himself in line for the loss.
Cain was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning after the Giants tied the game, and exited with a no decision.
David Wright saw flashbacks in the seventh inning when Cain buzzed a 92-mph fastball up and in. In August of 2009, Wright missed almost a month due to a concussion suffered when he was hit in the helmet by a 94-mph fastball from Cain.
Cain's final line: 7 IP, 3H, 2ER, BB, 3 K, ND.
Jeremy Affeldt, celebrating his 35th birthday, came on to pitch the eighth inning after Cain was lifted for a pinch hitter. He struck out the first batter he faced and induced an inning-ending double play after ceding a single. Posey's home run made Affeldt the pitcher of record, earning him his first win of the season.
Sergio Romo came on to pitch the ninth inning and retired the Mets in order to record his 19th save of the season.
At the plate
Buster Posey entered Friday 11-for-his-last-63 (.175) and 4-for-his-last-42 (.095) at AT&T Park, but he broke out in a major way for the Giants.
Posey collected three hits, none larger than his two-run, tie-breaking home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was the Giants 69th home run of the season, good for fourth in the majors.
Despite Posey's heroics, Brandon Hicks was the offensive spark plug all night. His first career triple led to the Giants' first run, when Brandon Crawford plated him with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. And his team-leading 27th walk sparked a two-out rally for the Giants' second run, when Crawford again delivered with an RBI-single in the seventh.
Like Posey, Hicks entered the game struggling with four hits in his last 33 at-bats (.121)
Bochy won a one-minute-five-second challenge in the fifth inning when Cain was struck in the back foot by a fastball from Jonathon Niese that was originally called a ball.
In the field
The Giants played sound defense behind Matt Cain, turning in their second consecutive error-free game after three miscues against the Reds on Wednesday.
After Curtis Granderson drew a leadoff walk in the fifth inning, Hicks was perfectly positioned to turn the 4-3 double play -- one of three on the night for the Giants -- and end the Mets' first rally of the game.
The Giants announced a paid attendance of 41,437 for Portuguese Heritage Night. It marked the 275th consecutive regular season sellout at AT&T Park, the longest active streak in the majors.
The Mets and Giants continue their three-game series at AT&T Park on Saturday evening with Tim Hudson (6-2, 1.75) and Bartolo Colon (5-5, 4.52) squaring off. The series concludes Sunday afternoon with Tim Lincecum (4-4, 5.01) taking on former Giants prospect Zack Wheeler (2-5, 3.89).