SAN FRANCISCO — Chad Gaudin might just be pitching himself right into a permanent spot in the San Francisco starting rotation.
He certainly pitched the defending World Series champion Giants to an important victory to begin the season's second half against the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks, striking out eight in seven scoreless innings to build on his impressive month-long stretch in a 2-0 win Friday night.
"It's huge," Gaudin said. "Any win in our division is huge."
All-Star Buster Posey hit an RBI double, Hunter Pence added a run-scoring single as San Francisco started a key series to open the second half by pulling within 5 1/2 games of the D-backs in the NL West race.
Arizona starter Ian Kennedy (3-7) was denied career win No. 50 yet again in his eighth try.
In his past four starts, Gaudin (4-1) has a 0.77 ERA and allowed only two earned runs in 23 1-3 innings. He has an 11-inning scoreless streak.
"What a great job he did tonight, which we needed," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Gaudin is unbeaten in seven starts since joining the rotation in early June to replace the injured Ryan Vogelsong — and he is making for a tough decision by the Giants' brass when Vogelsong is ready to return next month.
"Obviously I'd like to start and enjoy starting," said Gaudin, so valuable for his versatility.
Not bad for a guy who signed a minor league deal with the Giants and had no guarantee of making the team out of spring training.