SAN FRANCISCO -- The irony of George Kontos' yeoman relief stint Monday night was impossible to miss. For delivering extra effort and rescuing the Giants' bullpen from overuse, he was demoted.
Kontos threw 3 1/3 innings and 63 pitches, both career highs, in the Giants' 11-0 loss Monday to Cincinnati. That prevented the Giants from depleting their bullpen after Tim Lincecum's 3 2/3-inning performance. But it left Kontos unable to pitch for two or three days, which included Tuesday's doubleheader against the Reds. So the Giants, needing a fresh pitcher capable of providing long relief, purchased the contract of Yusmeiro Petit from Triple-A Fresno.
Meanwhile, Kontos was optioned to Fresno.
"They made the most logical move, I guess," said Kontos, who nevertheless appeared sullen as he sat by his AT&T Park dressing stall.
Kontos said that manager Bruce Bochy "seemed almost apologetic" while informing him of the move. With reporters, Bochy was logical. He noted that Kontos would have to rest his arm for the next few days and added, "We felt we needed somebody who can help us for two or three innings so we don't overuse anybody. That's why the move was made."
Kontos was 2-2 with a 5.05 ERA in 42 appearances, which was tied for the club lead with Javier Lopez entering Tuesday.
"We look at George as a guy who will be back up," Bochy said.
Petit had stints with the Marlins (2006) and Diamondbacks (2007-09) before replacing Tim Lincecum for one start last Sept. 23 -- one day after the Giants clinched the National League West. With Fresno, Petit was 5-4 with a 5.24 ERA in 12 starts, including a 3-0 mark and 2.57 ERA in his last three outings.
To clear room for Petit on the 40-man roster, the Giants designated Minor League right-hander Hunter Strickland for assignment.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Andrew Owens is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @OwensAndrew. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.