ANAHEIM -- Juan Gutierrez called Yusmeiro Petit on Saturday afternoon and left a message.
The Angels' reliever wanted to congratulate the Giants' starter for his one-hit gem against the D-backs on Friday night, while also consoling him for missing out on a perfect game by a mere strike.
"That's tough," Gutierrez said in Spanish. "You hate to see it happen like that."
Gutierrez and Petit -- who gave up a full-count, pinch-hit single to Eric Chavez with two outs in the ninth inning at AT&T Park -- are Venezuela natives who have known each other since 2001. They got to know each other in the summer leagues shortly after signing their first pro contracts, pitched against one another in the Venezuelan Winter League -- Petit for Magallanes, Gutierrez for Caracas -- and grew close when they played together on the D-backs in 2009.
Petit, 28, has had very inconsistent big league time over the past eight years, compiling 76 appearances (40 starts) and posting a 5.19 ERA.
To most baseball fans, he was an unknown -- until he flirted with perfection.
"He's not a power pitcher, as people say, but he knows how to locate his pitches, is really smart, studies hitters," Gutierrez said. "I'm happy for him to get back to the big leagues, particularly for the season he's having for San Francisco. We've been good friends since we were together in Arizona and I always wish him well."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less