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Petit just short of perfect as Giants beat Arizona

San Francisco Giants' Petit winds up during the second inning of MLB exhibition baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in San Francisco

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San Francisco Giants pitcher Yusmeiro Petit winds up during the second inning of his MLB exhibition baseball …

(Reuters) - San Francisco Giants pitcher Yusmeiro Petit came agonizingly close to pitching the 24th perfect game in Major League Baseball as the Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0 on Friday.

Eric Chavez turned spoiler when he looped a hit just short of Giants right fielder Hunter Pence with two outs in the ninth inning off a full count.

Pence dived at full length but could only manage to collect the ball on the half-volley.

Petit claimed the next batter to e the game.

The 28-year-old Venezuelan right-hander struck out seven Diamondbacks in 95 pitches, 69 of which were strikes to almost join baseball's elite on the perfect game list.

Petit would have had the first perfect game this season. Three pitchers, including Petit's team mate Matt Cain, achieved the milestone in 2012.

(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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