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Peavy strikes out nine, improves to 8-1 all-time vs. Dodgers

• Unsung hero: Mike Cameron had his moment in the sun with a grand slam in the fifth to give San Diego a 6-0 lead. It was his first grand slam since 2003.

• Welcome back: Padres catcher Michael Barrett was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list.

• Quotable: "There's no question he's throwing the ball as well as anybody
in the National League over the last two months. He's showing why we feel he's the best pitcher in the National League. There's a month left and I think he's a guy that if he continues like this, he has to be thought of very highly among those being considered." -- Padres manager Bud Black, on Peavy's Cy Young chances

-- ESPN.com news services

Padres 7, Dodgers 0

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Jake Peavy and the San Diego Padres entered
September on a roll.

Peavy, the big league ERA leader, pitched seven brilliant
innings and Mike Cameron hit a grand slam for the San Diego Padres,
who beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-0 Saturday night to maintain
their slim lead in the NL West.

Peavy (16-5) allowed two hits, struck out nine while walking
just one and lowered his ERA from 2.18 to 2.10. He set a career
high for wins in a season and won his seventh straight decision.
Peavy is 8-1 lifetime in 17 starts against the Padres' biggest
rivals.

"I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't excited to win my 16th
game and get a career high, but more importantly the team won the
series and the team won the game tonight," Peavy said. "I've got
five or however many starts left and I'm going to go out and try to
win those for the team as well and try to get this team to the
playoffs.

"You look at individual stats, and I don't think anybody in
this room here is worried about how the season ends up if we're not
world champions. So we want to try to work our way toward getting
in the playoffs, then that goal."

Relievers Cla Meredith and Joe Thatcher finished the combined
three-hitter.

Adrian Gonzalez also connected for the Padres, who retained
their lead over Arizona by one percentage point in the NL West. San
Diego won for the ninth time in 11 games and took the first two of
this three-game series.

"We are playing good baseball," Peavy said. "I think finally
we're clicking on most cylinders. We do that, we're a tough team to
beat."

Dodgers manager Grady Little agreed.

"If you come in half-stepping, not executing plays, not
executing pitching, you're going to have a tough time right now,"
Little said.

Peavy, the first NL pitcher to win 16 games, padded his league
lead to 206.

Manager Bud Black doesn't think it's too early to start pumping
Peavy as a top Cy Young candidate.

"There's no question he's throwing the ball as well as anybody
in the National League over the last two months," Black said.
"He's showing why we feel he's the best pitcher in the National
League. There's a month left and I think he's a guy that if he
continues like this, he has to be thought of very highly among
those being considered."

Dodgers All-Star catcher Russell Martin, who was ejected in the
sixth for arguing with umpire Dan Iassogna after taking a called
third strike, lauded Peavy's effort.

"He definitely threw the ball well," Martin said. "He's been
doing that the whole year. He didn't really make many mistakes.
When he's on top of his game, he's tough. It's hard to get baserunners on."

After Sunday's series finale, the Padres open a three-game
series at Arizona on Monday afternoon.

Los Angeles dropped five games back in both the division and the
wild-card race.

"You have to find a way to get a win," Martin said. "You
don't want to fall behind too much."

Cameron's fifth career slam highlighted the fifth, when the
Padres scored six runs -- five earned -- against Derek Lowe on four
hits, three walks and a throwing error by third baseman Shea
Hillenbrand.

After Lowe (11-12) struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff to open the
fifth, he walked Josh Bard and allowed a single to Geoff Blum.
Peavy hit a grounder to Hillenbrand, who had to go to his knees to
his left to field it, then hurriedly got up and threw wide of first
for a two-base error that allowed Bard to score.

Brian Giles was intentionally walked to bring up Cameron, who
cleared the fence down the left-field line on a 1-2 pitch to give
the Padres a 6-0 lead. It was his 19th.

Milton Bradley walked and Gonzalez singled to chase Lowe, and
Khalil Greene hit an RBI single off Mark Hendrickson.

Lowe allowed six hits and seven runs, six earned in 4 1/3
innings. He struck out four and walked six.

Gonzalez homered to right on Lowe's first pitch of the second,
his 24th.

Game notes
Dodgers LHP David Wells dropped the appeal of his
seven-game suspension he drew while with the Padres and began
serving the punishment Saturday night. Wells will miss his next
scheduled start Wednesday at the Chicago Cubs. That start will be
made by left-hander Eric Stults. The 44-year-old Wells was
suspended for his animated argument with an umpire who ejected him
on July 7 against the Atlanta Braves. ... Stults was optioned to
Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday night to make room on the roster for
Esteban Loaiza, who will start Monday at Chicago. Stults will be
eligible to rejoin the club on Tuesday, when the minor league
season is over. ... Padres C Michael Barrett was reinstated him
from the 15-day DL.