Johnny Cueto threw a one-hit gem in his first return leg for the San Francisco Giants since completing a Tommy John operation last year.
The right-handed struck four and went up with one of five innings to the top giants over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 on Tuesday night.
He was replaced by Kyle Barraclough in the sixth, having thrown 69 pitches.
"As if it was opening day," Cueto said, was 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in nine starts last season before being closed. He is in the fourth year of a six-year contract over 130 million US dollars.
"That was a special night for Johnny, just so much hard work and the return of so much," said Stephen Vogt, who witnessed Cueto's comeback outing. "Being a small part of it with him was very special to me, it was a long way for him to come back in. He was just so happy today ̵
Cueto went first in eleven fields with a strikeout and two with 1-2-3 in the lead ground-out before turning over his hat and pumping his fists for fun.
He solemnly slapped his hand in his glove and nibbled on his chewing gum the whole time.
Fun, "he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.