SAN FRANCISCO -- George Kontos helped save the Giants bullpen ahead of today's doubleheader with his career-high 63 pitches in last night's 11-0 loss to the Reds. As a result, he's heading back to Triple-A. The Giants announced today they've purchased the contract of Yusmeiro Petit from Fresno and optioned Kontos down.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Kontos won't be available to throw again for two to three days and the Giants needed to be covered in the bullpen today, particularly with Eric Surkamp starting the first game in his first big-league outing since Tommy John surgery.
Petit last threw three days ago in Fresno and will be available as a long man out of the bullpen, Bochy said. Petit, the 28-year-old right-hander, has pitched exclusively as a starter this season in Fresno, where he was 5-4 with a 5.24 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings over 12 starts.
"I told (Kontos) exactly the truth," Bochy said. "He saved us last night and unfortunately he's not available for a couple days and we don't want to put these guys at risk by using them too much."
Kontos said the move came as "a little bit of a surprise," but was "the most logical move that made the most sense." Kontos hadn't thrown more than 40 pitches in a major-league game before his 3 1/3 innings last night, in which he allowed three runs on seven hits.
Kontos has a 5.05 ERA on the season but said he felt he pitched with more confidence and better against left-handers in this past call-up. He said the Giants didn't send him down with anything specific to work on. The Giants have yet to announce a 40-man roster move for Petit, but the fact that it wasn't Kontos means they still view him as a potential contributor in the second half.
"He's got experience," Bochy said. "We look at George as a guy that can be back up here soon to help us out in the bullpen."
Here's the Giants' lineup for Game 1 of today's doubleheader:
And the Reds lineup vs. Surkamp:
* Bochy said the plan is to have Posey catch Barry Zito in the second game.
* Joaquin Arias continues to regain his strength after his appendectomy, Bochy said, but isn't yet ready to rejoin the team. Arias is eligible to come off the DL today. When he is ready, Bochy said, the Giants may opt to have him rejoin the team directly without going on a rehab assignment.
* The doubleheader today gives Bochy two chances at reaching a milestone. Bochy needs one win for 1,500 in his managerial career, a number only 20 managers have reached. Of those, 12 are in the Hall of Fame and two are managing currently -- Jim Leyland (1,730) and the guy in the other dugout tonight, Dusty Baker (1,637).
* Bochy, though, would probably just be happy with a win against the Reds. The Giants have been outscored 25-3 in their four games this season with the offense a combined 14-for-117 (.120) against Reds pitching. They faced Cingrani July 3 in Cincinnati, scoring two runs off him on four hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings, though neither Tony Abreu or Brandon Belt (who combined for three of the hits) are in the lineup today.
* As a reminder, the second game will start 30 minutes after the end of the first and no earlier than 7:15 p.m. Settle in for a long day of ball.
-- Matt Kawahara