SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Jake Peavy has a Roger Clemens jersey hanging
in his home, a few balls autographed by his boyhood hero and a
photo of the two from an all-star tour of Japan in the offseason.
Peavy collected something even bigger on Tuesday night -- a win
over his idol.Peavy outdueled Clemens by throwing a four-hitter for his third
shutout this season and the San Diego Padres beat the Houston
Astros 2-0 on Tuesday night."What an honor, man," said Peavy, 24. "It was just a
tremendous feeling just to be on the same ball field as somebody
that you idolize and have a chance to compete against him. It was a
well-pitched game and I'm just glad we came out on top."Peavy (11-6) had a single off Clemens with one out in the
eighth, one of five hits allowed by the seven-time Cy Young Award
winner. Clemens threw his first complete game since July 30, 2003,
at Anaheim, and the 118th of his career.After Nolan Ryan retired, Clemens became Peavy's idol. The two
met when they played together on a major league all-star team that
toured Japan in the offseason, and were on the NL All-Star team
together."I was excited," Peavy said. "I knew the biggest thing for me
was not letting my emotions get out of control."Peavy got out of two bases loaded jams, and manager Bruce Bochy
let him finish."It was close to a playoff atmosphere," Peavy said. "This
crowd was into it every pitch. Really, when I went out there for
the ninth, with that crowd behind you, it's going to be hard to
blow it."Peavy saved a game ball, and Bochy gave him a lineup card.Clemens retired 17 straight batters before Brian Giles homered
with one out in the seventh for a 2-0 lead. Giles drove a high
fastball into the seats in right field on a 2-1 count, his 13th.It was just the eighth homer allowed this year by Clemens
(11-6), who lost for only the second time on the road this year.
His ERA, best in the majors, bumped up to 1.56 overall and 0.56 on
the road.Clemens was aware of how much Peavy idolized him."That's great. It makes me feel older," said the 43-year-old."When I step away from the game, our game is in good hands,"
Clemens said. "We have some good, young talented players, everyday
guys, and definitely pitchers. He's right there at the top of the
list. You feel you pass the baton along to the next generation of
guys. I think the fans out here will enjoy this kid for a long
time."After Giles' homer, Ryan Klesko doubled into the left-center gap
and Mark Loretta walked before Clemens got the final two outs.
After throwing 60 pitches through six innings, Clemens threw 20 in
the seventh.Clemens struck out seven and walked one. Peavy struck out six
and walked two."Both guys pitched great," Bochy said. "That's the type of
game we all expected. Young gun Jake did what we needed, threw
zeros up there, because Roger was on top of his game. That's a fun
game to watch, the young guy going against one of the best."The NL West-leading Padres climbed within one game of .500
(62-63). Houston dropped a half-game behind Philadelphia in the
wild-card race.Dave Roberts tripled to right-center field on Clemens' second
pitch of the game and scored on Giles' opposite-field single to
left with one out. Clemens got out of the inning when Klesko hit
into a double play.Peavy got out of bases loaded jams in the third and sixth
innings.Houston's Willy Taveras led off the sixth with an infield single
and he took second on catcher Miguel Olivo's throwing error. He
went to third on Lance Berkman's single before Morgan Ensberg
walked to load the bases. Taveras was forced at home on Jason
Lane's grounder to first. Adam Everett hit a grounder that bounced
off Peavy's glove to shortstop Damian Jackson, who threw him out to
end the inning.In the third, Peavy got Berkman to ground out to end the inning
with the bases loaded.The Astros were shut out for the 15th time, most in the majors."How stupid can it get?" manager Phil Garner said. "You just
keep getting shut out, it's just stupid."
Clemens has allowed five earned runs in 81 innings on the
road. This was the first time he allowed more than one earned run
in a road start. ... Several Astros players and members of the
coaching staff visited Marines at Camp Pendleton earlier Tuesday.
... Padres RHP Adam Eaton is scheduled to come off the DL on Friday
and start against Colorado.