• Summary: Milton Bradley homered and Brian Giles had a season-high three RBIs to back Jake Peavy in the San Diego Padres' 9-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
• Hero: Peavy, whose 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings leads the National League, allowed one run and four hits and struck out eight over seven innings to earn the win.
• Figure this: Peavy is 5-0 with a 0.98 ERA on the road this year and his 2.41
season ERA remains second in the NL.
• Quotable: "He stayed a little taller over the rubber and his arm had a higher slot. That resulted in a better angle and created more of a downhill plane for his pitches." Padres manager Black on Peavy's pitching adjustments
-- ESPN.com news services
Padres 9, Astros 4
HOUSTON (AP) -- Jake Peavy is back to winning and all it took was a minor adjustment in his delivery.Peavy allowed a run in seven innings, Milton Bradley homered and Brian Giles had a season-high three RBIs in the San Diego Padres' 9-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.It was the first win for Peavy (10-5) since June 19 against Baltimore. He was 0-4 in his previous five starts.Manager Bud Black said Peavy worked with pitching coach Darren Balsley on some mechanical adjustments, and it seemed to work."He stayed a little taller over the rubber and his arm had a higher slot. That resulted in a better angle and created more of a downhill plane for his pitches," Black said.Peavy, whose 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings leads the National League, allowed four hits and struck out eight for the Padres, who won for only the second time in the last eight games."It made a big difference," Peavy said of the adjustment. "I was throwing the ball downhill more. I think I may have just drifted away from the correct delivery. It was something I was doing mentally more than anything but the adjustment made me stay more behind the pitch."Peavy is 5-0 with a 0.98 ERA on the road this year and his 2.41 season ERA remains second in the NL. So he didn't think wholesale changes were needed."I didn't feel like I was pitching badly before," he said. "I had three or four quality starts in that stretch [of losses] and a couple of them were against shutouts. But I wasn't doing my job either."The Padres' 12-hit attack impressed Black. "It was good to see us keep tacking on runs as the game went on," Black said. "We got a lot of two-out hits and we haven't been doing that lately."Giles' two-run single in the eighth was a two-out hit."It was one of those nights when everybody up and down the lineup contributed," Giles said. "Hopefully that'll get us going."The Astros knew what they were up against with Peavy."Usually those good guys, if you don't break through them early, you're not going to get them," manager Phil Garner said. "They get into a groove and that's what he did."He just got stronger as the game went on. We had one good chance early and we didn't capitalize on it."The Astros scored once and had two men on in the first. But Mike Lamb and Luke Scott struck out to end the threat."That was pretty much our one opportunity," Lamb said. "We needed to have better at-bats and score some more runs because obviously, he's one of the better pitchers in the National League. When you get opportunities, you need to capitalize."Woody Williams (5-12) went six innings and allowed four runs and eight hits with two walks as the Astros' three-game winning streak ended.It was Williams' first appearance of the season against the Padres. The 41-year-old spent the previous two seasons in San Diego.Carlos Lee drove in Mark Loretta from second with a single in the first inning to give Houston a 1-0 lead.Peavy knocked in the Padres' first run with a single in the second, scoring Kevin Kouzmanoff. Giles singled Geoff Blum home for a 2-1 lead.Bradley's homer, his third of the year, came in the third inning.Giles, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Bard and Peavy had two hits each. Blum drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly in the sixth and a single in the eighth.The Astros scored three runs in the ninth. Padres left-hander Joe Thatcher, making his second major league appearance, made two throwing errors in the inning. The second allowed two runs to score. Morgan Ensberg followed with an RBI single off Heath Bell.
Craig Biggio's eighth-inning single gave him 3,020 career hits, tying him with Rafael Palmeiro for 23rd on the all-time list. ... Bradley is hitting .333 (18-for-54) with a double, triple and four home runs since the Padres got him from the A's in a trade for minor league pitcher Andrew Brown on June 29. ... The walk to Bradley in the first inning was the first given up by Williams in 20 1/3 innings, dating back to the second inning against the Mets on July 7. ... Williams was 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA against San Diego in his career but hadn't started against them since Aug. 31, 2004 while with the Cardinals. ... Astros C Brad Ausmus got his 100th career stolen base.