SAN FRANCISCO – One strike shy from a perfect game last September, Yusmeiro Petit refused to let another chance at baseball history slip away.
Petit set a major league record when he retired his 46th batter in a row, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 4-1 on Thursday for their third straight win.
“I think it’s like a reward for all the work I have put into my pitching,” Petit said through a translator. “I think God gave me a second opportunity, and I said to myself, ‘He’s giving me another opportunity. This time, I’m not going to allow myself to not do it.’ “
Petit (4-3) got the first eight hitters, establishing the mark by striking out Charlie Culberson. That broke Mark Buehrle’s record of 45 straight with the Chicago White Sox in 2009.
The announced sellout crowd of 41,017 at AT&T Park gave Petit a standing ovation after he fanned Culberson. The string ended two pitches later when the next batter, Rockies starter Jordan Lyles, doubled to left field. Charlie Blackmon followed with a single to drive in Colorado’s only run.
“I was a little nervous when the hitters were advancing toward the record. But in that pitch to the pitcher, I was not nervous,” Petit said. “I was doing my job. The first pitch was fine. The second pitch was fine, too, but it slid a little bit where I didn’t want it to.”
Petit’s streak covered eight games, six of them in relief. He also surpassed Jim Barr’s NL record of 41 in a row with the Giants in 1972, carving out his own slice of baseball lore after Eric Chavez wrecked Petit’s perfect game against Arizona with a two-out single in the ninth last year.
The 29-year-old journeyman made the start in place of struggling Tim Lincecum, who was available out of the bullpen. Petit allowed four hits, struck out nine and walked none.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said he will weigh his options but admitted it will be hard to take Petit out of the rotation.
“What a roll to get on to have that kind of record,” Bochy said. “As long as this game’s been going on, now he’s got it.”
Braves 6, Mets 1
In Atlanta, the Braves’ Mike Minor took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning after hitting a double and single himself.
Reds 7, Cubs 2
In Cincinnati, Billy Hamilton stole his 51st base and the Reds swiped six in all.
Angels 4, Athletics 3 (10)
In Anaheim, Howie Kendrick drove in Albert Pujols with a sacrifice fly in the 10th.
Orioles 5, Rays 4
In Baltimore, J.J. Hardy singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning in a victory over Tampa Bay.
Twins 11, Royals 5 (10)
In Kansas City, Minnesota’s Jordan Schafer tied a career high with four RBIs, including a two-run single in the 10th inning.
The Royals’ Norichika Aoki was 1-for-3 for the Royals.
Tigers 3, Yankees 2
In Detroit, Alex Avila hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Hiroki Kuroda allowed a pair of runs and struck out four in seven innings, but didn’t factor into the decision. Yankees pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki struck out.
Indians 3, White Sox 2
In Chicago, Michael Bourn had two triples among his three hits.
Astros 4, Rangers 2
In Houston, Jason Castro hit a grand slam for the Astros.