PHOENIX The Giants have yet to bring in most of their expanded-roster call-ups, but they already might have found their September nugget in 28-year-old Venezuelan right-hander Yusmeiro Petit.
If his first two starts with the Giants mean anything, Petit is well on his way to forcing his way into the conversation for the 2014 roster. For now, he has forced himself into the rotation until further notice, and he's happy enough with that.
Petit (2-0) pitched six innings against his old team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and did a number on them at Chase Field on Sunday. He allowed just two runs, walked one and struck out 10 in an 8-2 Giants victory, and he even dropped a hit down the right-field line one of the Giants' 15 total for his first major-league RBI in seven years.
In two road starts taking Matt Cain's spot in the rotation, Petit has demonstrated an impressive and fairly fearless penchant for throwing strikes. Of his 99 pitches Sunday, 68 were strikes, and early on, he mixed sharp breaking pitches with well-placed fastballs to strike out six of the first nine hitters he faced.
"It's another great start for him," said manager Bruce Bochy. "And two tough ballparks, too Colorado and here.
"He had great command, he hit his spots, had stuff, he mixed it up. He's got some savvy. He knows what he's doing out there."
Petit also is a survivor, having been outrighted by the Giants in March and then designated for assignment in late July after making one relief appearance with the big club. No one else elected to pick him up, though, and suddenly he's trying to cement a permanent home, although it remains to be seen how it will play out with San Francisco.
"It's hard to answer right now, but he's doing what he needs to do, and that's make some noise," said Bochy. "It's great to see what he's doing, and we want to keep looking at him."
Speaking through interpreter Jose Alguacil, the organization's roving infield instructor, Petit said he feels comfortable with the Giants and that the key to his possible breakthrough has been much-improved consistency throwing the breaking pitch.
Petit isn't worried about the future. He just wants to keep getting more opportunities this season.
"I can only worry about one thing, and that's try to do my job right now," he said. "What they want to do next year is their decision. I don't have control over that."
Catcher Hector Sanchez, who drove in three runs and delivered the big hit of the game with a two-out, two-run double in the fourth inning, was impressed with Petit.
"I faced him in Venezuela that's the only way I know him," said Sanchez, who's 10 for 28 (.357) with two homers and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games. "But he commanded all of his pitches in the zone up and down, away, in. He got really comfortable. He throws a lot of strikes."
It was a big offensive day for a number of Giants against Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin (13-5), who shackled them twice earlier in the year. Hunter Pence and Buster Posey each had three hits and two RBIs, and Pence cracked his 17th homer in the fifth.