Yusmeiro Petit came within one strike of the second perfect game in San Francisco Giants history Thursday night, settling for a one-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Relying heavily on curve balls and sliders that painted the corners of the plate, the 29-year-old Petit (3-0) took pinch-hitter Eric Chavez to a full count with two outs in the top of the ninth before the veteran dumped a single in front of a diving Hunter Pence in right field to end the string of 26 consecutive batters retired.
Making just his third start since being promoted from Triple-A Fresno on Aug. 23, Petit rebounded from Chavez's stunning hit by getting A.J. Pollock to ground out to third base to cap his first career shutout. The Giants streamed out of the dugout to congratulate him as if he'd completed the perfect game.
Matt Cain pitched the only perfect game in Giants history last season against the Houston Astros on June 13.
Remaining unbeaten since his call-up, Petit struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.
In beating Arizona for the second time in six days, Petit needed little defensive help. Only two of Arizona's first 26 batters even came close to getting a hit.
The defensive play of the night came in left field from defensive replacement Juan Perez, who raced forward, dove and backhanded rival pitcher Patrick Corbin's bid for a hit with two outs in the sixth inning.
Petit's no-hit bid almost didn't survive the first inning. Shortstop Joaquin Arias went to his right to backhand a hot shot by Arizona's third batter of the game, Paul Goldschmidt, spun and got him at first base by a step.
The Giants gave the sixth-year big-leaguer all the offensive support he would need by scoring single runs in the second and fourth innings. Pence, who had three of San Francisco's eight hits, scored both the runs.
Pence's team-leading 19th home run, a solo shot with one out in the eighth inning, capped the scoring.
Left-hander Corbin (13-6) was the hard-luck loser for the Diamondbacks. Going the distance for the second time in his last four starts, the All-Star gave up the three runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Since a complete-game effort against Cincinnati on Aug. 20, Corbin had gotten torched for 13 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings spanning two starts. Five of those runs came in five innings in an 8-2 loss to the Giants in Arizona in a matchup with Petit last Sunday.
The loss cost the Diamondbacks a game in the wild-card standings. They now trail the Cincinnati Reds, who beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, by 8 1/2 games.