Matt Cain has two World Series rings, a nine-figure contract and a perfect game on his curriculum vitae, which will gain another weighty entry come April 1.

For the first time in his eight Opening Days with the Giants, Cain will start the game, against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles. Manager Bruce Bochy's announcement Monday that Cain gets the honor was the most stunning development since the sun rose earlier in the day.

The Opening Day start had to go to Cain, who established himself as the staff ace last year not only with the six-year, $112.5 million extension he signed, but also with his clubhouse leadership and his exceptional performance on the mound. He went 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA, threw a perfect game and started all three postseason-series clinchers.

So ends Tim Lincecum's four-year streak of pitching the opener. Barry Zito had the two before that.

Bochy was asked if picking Cain was as easy as it sounded.

"Yes," he said, "but at the same time, every one of them could be considered to be an Opening Day guy. I really feel that way. I'm not just saying it.