SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Giants struggled this season, Albert Suarez's presence was magnified by his absence.Suarez, 27, contributed significantly last year as a reliever and spot starter, inheriting the swingman's role that Yusmeiro Petit capably filled from 2012-15. A calf injury disrupted Suarez's season, but he recently was deemed
SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Giants struggled this season, Albert Suarez's presence was magnified by his absence.
Suarez, 27, contributed significantly last year as a reliever and spot starter, inheriting the swingman's role that Yusmeiro Petit capably filled from 2012-15. A calf injury disrupted Suarez's season, but he recently was deemed healthy enough to pitch.
Needing innings to be consumed, particularly after enduring extra-inning contests in two of the previous four games, the Giants wasted little time in recalling Suarez from Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday. Sure enough, he contributed two scoreless innings to San Francisco's 5-4, 12-inning victory over San Diego, blanking the Friars in the seventh and eighth.
"I really think that we missed him," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "There's a lot of times we could have used him."
It was business as usual for the quietly confident Suarez, who finished 3-5 last year with a 4.29 ERA in 22 games (12 starts).
"It was great to be back. I feel like I can get the job done," Suarez said.
Backup catcher Nick Hundley, who delivered the game-winning single in the 12th, was impressed by what he saw from Suarez.
"It was big to get a fresh arm in here, with how much these guys have been grinding," Hundley said.
Summoning Suarez was among multiple roster moves the Giants engineered Saturday. Rookie infielder Jae-gyun Hwang, who burst onto the scene last month when he homered in his Major League debut, was optioned to Triple-A. The Giants also optioned left-hander Steven Okert to Sacramento while recalling utility man Orlando Calixte from the same affiliate.
Hwang's playing time decreased when third baseman Eduardo Nunez returned from a stint on the disabled list after the All-Star break.
Bochy said that Hwang was at a disadvantage as a pinch-hitter or while making spot starts against unfamiliar pitchers.
"It's tough for him to be sitting and watching games and trying to get his timing," Bochy said. "We'd like to get him playing on a consistent basis. We don't know what's going to happen. We do need him. He's not used to sitting on the bench."
The 25-year-old Calixte was hitting .262 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs in 76 games for Sacramento. Upon joining the Giants Saturday for his second stint this season, he delivered an RBI single in San Francisco's three-run fourth.
"We're a little short in the outfield on guys with experience. Calixte will give us that," said Bochy.
Okert had a 6.75 ERA in 12 appearances.
Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.