SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Yusmeiro Petit has been nearly perfect since the Giants brought him to San Francisco in late August. After losing his first game, Petit still feels he learned something.
Petit lasted a season-low 3 2-3 innings in the Giants' 9-3 loss to the San Diego Padres on Saturday, giving up five runs and seven hits.
"I felt good all the way around," Petit said. "This is a learning experience for me because when I get into big trouble I have to find a way to get out of it."
Petit (4-1) pitched well enough in his first six starts to earn a chance at a spot in the rotation come spring training. He was one batter away from a perfect game on Sept. 6 against Arizona in his first career shutout. He also pitched into the sixth inning in his previous starts.
"I think I achieved a lot of things this year," Petit said. "This was not a good outing, but I think I did enough to make them think about me for next year."
Petit retired eight straight hitters before Chase Headley doubled in the fourth.
"I thought he threw the ball well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That long inning, and that long at-bat in particular, took a lot out of him."
Petit said Tommy Medica's 14-pitch at bat, with two outs in the fourth, that resulted in an RBI single was a factor in his performance.
"He was able to time all my pitches," Petit said. "I made so many pitches and threw everything to him. Give him credit, he drained me mentally."
Bochy said leading into the fourth Petit was locating his pitches.
"You're going to see some rough moments," Bochy said. "Hopefully they will get better and smoother. He threw some pretty good strikes."
Hunter Pence, who reached a tentative agreement on a $90 million, five-year contract before the game, hit a two-run homer for the Giants, who had their three-game losing streak end.
Petit gave up a two-run homer to Jesus Guzman, who followed Medica in the fourth.
"Petit was throwing him everything, all his pitches, all his locations and velocities," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We've had some good innings this year and that is one of the best. I thought Guzzie's home run would be a long fly ball but it just kept going."
Eric Stults (11-13) pitched seven effective innings to win his third straight start after going 0-6 in his previous 10 starts. He also helped himself with an RBI single during a four-run fourth.
Stults allowed three runs on seven hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.
Luke Gregerson pitched the eighth and Nick Vincent worked the ninth. The Padres are a game ahead of the Giants in third place in the NL West.
"It would be a big thing if we could win tomorrow and finish tied for third," Bochy said. "We keep saying we want to win every game we play."
After Chris Denorfia led off the game with his career-best 10th home run, Angel Pagan doubled to open the bottom of the first and scored when Sandoval doubled with two outs.
Pence hit his 27th homer in the third to put the Giants ahead 3-1. His homer total is the highest for the Giants since Barry Bonds hit 28 in 2007.
Petit retired the first two batters in the fourth and then gave up six consecutive hits, including the long at-bat by Medica, before being replaced by George Kontos.
NOTES: Giants INF Brandon Belt will be working on his versatility during the offseason according to manager Bruce Bochy. ... RHP Guillermo Moscoso (2-2, 4.21) will start Sunday's season finale for the Giants. It's his first start since Aug. 4. ... Giants OF Juan Perez recorded his eighth outfield assist, tied for second-most among rookies in the NL. ... Sandoval is a career .545 (12 for 22) hitter against Stults.
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