SAN FRANCISCO -- Yusmeiro Petit fell one strike short of a perfect game last September against the Arizona Diamondbacks. This time, he found a different way to etch his name into the record book.
Petit retired the first eight hitters he faced in a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, setting a Major League record with 46 consecutive outs. Petit's run stretched back over a month and spanned eight appearances. He broke Jim Barr's National League record of 41 consecutive outs in the second inning, and an inning later he surpassed Mark Buehrle's MLB mark of 45 straight.
Petit didn't slow down after a double ended his run, finishing with nine strikeouts in six innings in his first start in place of struggling right-hander Tim Lincecum. He did more than enough to earn a second one.
Fellow Venezuelan Gregor Blanco provided the punch with a two-run homer to right in the second inning. Angel Pagan had three singles and scored a late insurance run for the Giants, who improved to 71-62.
Petit's incredible streak started innocuously, and at the tail end of one of his worst outings of the season. Starting in place of the injured Matt Cain, Petit gave up five runs to the Philadelphia Phillies on July 22, including Marlon Byrd's RBI double with two down in the fifth.
It was a completely forgettable play, but Byrd ended up being the last big leaguer to reach base off of Petit in over a month. Grady Sizemore followed with a grounder back to the mound to end the inning and start the streak.
Petit was moved back to the bullpen and retired six Dodgers on July 26, striking out Yasiel Puig. Two days later, Andre McCutchen's flyout to right was one of six outs recorded by Petit on just 21 pitches. He pitched a perfect inning in Milwaukee on August 7 and another in Kansas City three days later.
When the Giants won their protest of a rained out game in Chicago, Petit was tabbed to pick up where Ryan Vogelsong left off. He struck out five in two innings, including All-Star Anthony Rizzo. Still, the streak went unnoticed. That would change four days later in Washington.
Petit entered for a struggling Lincecum and retired 13 consecutive batters. Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon were among his five strikeout victims. By the end of that appearance, Petit had retired 38 straight. That run, coupled with Lincecum's struggles, led to a flip-flop of roles.
Petit has been unable to stick as a starter in his career and he had a 6.32 ERA in his first six starts this season. On Thursday, Petit wasted little time making a beeline for history. Charlie Blackmon led off with a liner right at right fielder Hunter Pence and DJ LeMahieu struck out. Justin Morneau had broken up Madison Bumgarner's perfect game two nights earlier and he took Petit to a 3-2 count before flying out to the warning track in center. The out was the 41st straight, tying a record Barr set in 1972. Petit got to the cusp of Buehrle's mark with flyout and two strikeouts in the second.
Baseball likes to add flavor to storylines, and in the third Petit would face former Fresno Grizzlies teammates Jackson Williams and Charlie Culberson. He threw two-strike curveballs past both, setting the MLB record. The next batter was opposing pitcher Jordan Lyles, and he roped a fastball into left, bringing the streak to a screeching half.
Petit threw 191 pitches over eight appearances while going 46 up, 46 down. He retired 42 different players in six different parks. Petit struck out 21, got 17 flyouts and eight more outs on the ground while pitching to three different Giants catchers.
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