San Francisco Giants maintained the heat on Los Angeles Dodgers at the top of the National League West division after defeating Arizona 5-1 to cut the gap to 2.5 games in closing stages of the regular season.
Yusmeiro Petit threw a complete game while leaking just one run to claim the win over the lacklustre Diamondbacks at the AT&T Park last night.
Petit was aided by second baseman Joe Panik who went 5-for-5 and leadoff man Angel Pagan who notched up three runs. The Giants were also assisted by some poor D-backs fielding, which made the game comfortable by the sixth inning.
A mix-up in the second inning saw scores from Petit and Pagan when the Diamondbacks had an easy double play opportunity. Ender Inciarte’s fielding error in the sixth saw Gregor Blanco sprint home from second base off of Panik’s groundball single.
Despite Arizona’s struggles it was Petit who sealed the game for the Giants with his 84-pitch complete game, the second of the season for the 29-year-old.
The pitcher has been used as a starter and a reliever this season but has been just as effective in either role.
According to MLB.com, Petit sits on a 3-2 record with a 5.36 ERA from nine outings as a starter and the Giants have a .666 win percentage from his starts this year.
Overall the pitcher is 5-3 this season with a 3.62 ERA from 36 games in 2014.
The victory for the Giants (79-65), coupled with the Dodgers 6-3 loss to San Diego, meant the gap went back to just 2.5 games with 17 games left.
San Francisco have one game extra to play, Thursday night’s series finale versus the D-backs, where they can inch ever closer to the Dodgers.
Arizona Diamondbacks (59-85) have very little left to play for with their season tailing off in an underwhelming fashion. They are just three games away from Wild Card elimination and stuck in fourth place in the NL West division, half a game above bottom side Colorado.
The Giants are sitting comfortably in the top Wild Card spot in the National Leagues, four games ahead of Atlanta and Milwaukee who both lost last night.
But the 2012 World Series champions still have eyes for the division title and have two golden opportunities to overtake the Dodgers.
The sides are set to clash this weekend at AT&T Park in a three-game series and then between September 22-24 for another three games at Dodger Stadium.
The two sides have been trading places at the top of NL West all season long and it appears the battle will go down to the final few games.
Momentum seems to be with the Giants who have won 10 of their last 13 games and are unbeaten at home in their previous seven outings as they prepare to welcome their closest rivals on Friday night after two more midweek games against the Diamondbacks.