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Giants' Petit takes center stage again vs. Rockies

San Francisco's Hunter Pence accomplished a respectable feat on Tuesday night by joining the 20/20 club.

Yusmeiro Petit almost made history himself last time out.

Petit takes the mound for the first time since his near perfect game as he tries to pitch the Giants to a series victory on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of a three-game set with the Colorado Rockies.

The right-handed Petit is making a major case to be a part of the Giants' rotation next season, going 3-0 with a 1.71 earned run average in three starts this season while also making one extended relief appearance in July.

In his 40th career start last Friday, Petit retired the first 26 Arizona Diamondbacks hitters he faced before yielding a single to pinch-hitter Eric Chavez, who smacked a full-count fastball into right field that a sliding Pence could only trap.

Petit didn't let it faze him, though, as he got A.J. Pollock to ground out to third to end the game and finish off the Giants' 3-0 victory over Arizona.

"I was never thinking of what was happening in the game," said Petit through an interpreter. "But after I got the last two outs I just wanted to keep throwing good pitches. I'm just happy that I'm up here and hope I can stay."

Petit, who became the 12th player in Major League history to lose a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning, struck out seven and needed just 95 pitches to record his gem.

"It was a beautiful game and a tremendous display of pitching," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "I couldn't be happier for him. He's been fighting his way to get up here and has been trying to send a message that he belongs here. That game tonight was very impressive with how he pounded the strike zone on both sides. He had 25 guys pulling for him so hard out there."

The 28-year-old beat the Rockies on Aug. 27 in a start with six frames of two- run ball. He is 1-1 versus the club with a 6.00 ERA in seven games (5 starts).

The Giants led 6-0 after four innings in Tuesday night's contest before the Rockies rallied for eight straight runs. Pence then tied the game in the eighth with a two-run single, but Colorado's Michael Cuddyer hit his second homer of the game in the ninth inning to give his club a 9-8 win.

Cuddyer also hit a three-run homer in the fifth to help the Rockies snap a four-game slide and prevent the Giants from winning a third straight contest.

"I loved the way we battled," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "We got down six (runs) and competed really well and found a way to win that game. It's a huge win for us."

Pence had four hits and matched a career high with six RBI. He hit a three-run homer in the game, giving him 20 homers and 21 stolen bases on the season.

Pence became the seventh player since the Giants moved to San Francisco to hit at least 20 homers and steal 20 bases in a season. The last was Barry Bonds (37 HR, 28 steals) in 1998 and others to do it since the move out west include Bobby Bonds, Willie Mays, Jeffrey Leonard, Glenallen Hill and Orlando Cepeda.

"It's a great accomplishment," said catcher Buster Posey. "It's hard not to be a huge fan of Hunter's. From the time he gets here until the time he leaves, he's probably the hardest worker I've ever seen."

Pence is also the third player in the majors to hit the 20/20 mark this season, joining Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.

Pence will try to stay hot today against Colorado's Juan Nicasio, who is 8-7 with a 4.68 ERA in 27 starts this season.

The 27-year-old righty is coming off a no-decision versus San Diego on Friday, giving up two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and two walks. He also fanned seven in a game his club lost 4-3.

Nicasio will face the Giants for the fifth time in 2013. He is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA over the first four encounters, though both wins came at home.

The Giants and Rockies split 16 meetings this season ahead of this series, with San Francisco winning five of six at home.