SAN FRANCISCO -- Before the Petaluma Little League team took the field Saturday for the U.S. championship game, the 12-year-old players got a special phone call from one of their biggest fans -- Giants ace Matt Cain.
"It was just showing our support and letting them know we're watching their games," Cain said.
Petaluma took on Goodlettsville, Tenn., for the chance to advance to the World Series title game Sunday, and the Tennessee-native Cain said he was still rooting for the local California team.
The star pitcher is unsurprisingly listed by several Petaluma players as their favorite Major League player, something Cain doesn't take for granted.
"You always see other guys being mentioned before the game, and to be mentioned with those guys, it's cool to think that there are some kids who look up to you," Cain said. "You have to live up to that role."
Cain's main message to the young players was simple -- have fun.
"They've done all the hard work now, so just have fun with it and enjoy it," Cain said.
Peguero thrilled to make Major League debut
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants outfielder Francisco Peguero made his Major League debut in Saturday's game against the Braves, starting in left field and batting eighth.
"I'm very, very happy to be where every player wants to be -- in the big leagues," Peguero said before the game with teammate Angel Pagan translating. "Getting the chance to play, it's just a blessing."
The 24-year-old Peguero, who has spent seven years in the Minors, got the news from manager Bruce Bochy on Friday night that he would be starting Saturday.
"He was here early, and I know he's excited," Bochy said. "This is what you dream about, making it in the Major Leagues and playing. He's going to be nervous, as he should be. I look forward to seeing him."
Peguero was called up from Triple-A Fresno on Thursday after Justin Christian was placed on the disabled list with a sprained wrist, getting the news from Fresno manager Bob Mariano that he was headed to the big leagues.
"I didn't believe it at first," Peguero said. "That's a moment every player waits for, and now that I'm here, it's totally crazy."
Giants sticking with closer committee
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' closer-by-committee setup kept a two-run lead intact in Friday's 5-3 win against the Braves, and manager Bruce Bochy is confident that the three-man group of Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt can be dependable and effective the rest of the season.
Romo and Lopez combined for a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, with Lopez notching his third save in the last week.
"I think we can juggle it the whole way," Bochy said. "Ideally, you have one guy, but I think that they enjoy knowing that really any of them can be out there in the eighth or ninth. It keeps them on their toes a little bit. Whether we change to one guy, I can't say right now, but for at least the near future, we're going to continue to match it up."
Romo left after getting two outs in the eighth and was showing some discomfort with his right arm, and Bochy said after the game that Romo may have been bothered by a tight hamstring. Bochy said before Saturday's game that Romo was fine physically but that he would be giving him the day off.
"Serg can be a hard read sometimes," Bochy said. "Sometimes he doesn't open up all the way about what's going on. When he got to the dugout, he said, from what I hear, his hamstring was a little tight."
Jay Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.