SAN DIEGO (AP) -- San Diego's Jake Peavy made it look so easy, almost as if he had never been away.
Peavy, pitching for the first time in nearly a month since injuring his elbow, threw six solid innings and combined with three relievers on a five-hitter to lift the Padres to a 9-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.San Diego made life easier for Peavy by scoring five runs in the first inning."I've got a long way to go to be where I want to be," said Peavy. "But I was able to make some good pitches when I had to. I wasn't asked to grind it out because of the score. I was able to pitch to contact."In his first start back in nearly a month, the reigning NL Cy Young winner looked as if he hadn't missed five starts."He gave us a great outing with shutout ball," said Adrian Gonzalez. "He's one of the big keys for us. Having him back out there was pretty awesome."The Padres gave Peavy plenty of support, hitting consecutive home runs in the first -- a three-run shot by Brian Giles and a solo homer by Gonzalez -- off Hiroki Kuroda (3-6) en route to a 5-0 lead.Justin Hampson, Brian Corey and Mike Adams each pitched one inning to complete the shutout.Peavy (5-3) had been sidelined with a strained right elbow since he lost his last outing on May 14, an 8-5 decision at the Chicago Cubs. But the effects of the layoff were not evident.Peavy gave up a leadoff single to Juan Pierre in the first, then retired 12 straight batters. The right-hander allowed three hits, struck out four and did not walk a batter."Nothing was real sharp and electric, by any means," he said. "I think that comes with the rust. You lose a little bit of arm strength, you lose a little bit of that endurance and stamina and giddyup."San Diego manager Bud Black had a tentative game plan of allowing Peavy to throw around 90 pitches. But with the Padres ahead 6-0 and Peavy having thrown 72 pitches -- 52 for strikes -- Black decided to pull his ace."He was ready to pitch today," Black said. "His delivery looked good. I thought his overall stuff was good. They didn't have a lot of great swings against him."Peavy felt so good after Black pulled him that he threw about 12 more pitches to catcher Michael Barrett in the indoor batting cage.San Diego won for the sixth time in seven games. Los Angeles has lost eight of 12.Rookie Edgar Gonzalez had his first three-hit game and scored two runs. His younger brother, Adrian, also drive in two runs to take over the NL lead with 60.Kuroda had problems from the beginning, with the first six San Diego batters reaching base."It just didn't look like he was comfortable out there for some reason," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He wasn't missing by much, but he was missing and getting himself in some bad counts, and bad results followed."Jody Gerut and Edgar Gonzalez opened the first with singles before Giles hit his three-run homer into the right-field stands. Four pitches later, Adrian Gonzalez connected on a pitch the opposite way into the left-field seats.After hitting Kevin Kouzmanoff with a pitch, Kuroda walked a Paul McAnulty before he got the first out on Khalil Greene's ground out. Rookie Luke Carlin grounded to first base to drive in the fifth run."After we scored five, it made my job easier," said Peavy. "The boys are swinging the bat and showing some life. With a five-run lead, you can be aggressive simply because of the score."Of course it helped that Peavy was pitching against the Dodgers, a team he has owned in his career. Peavy is 12-1 with a 2.21 ERA against Los Angeles in 21 starts.Kuroda loaded the bases on two walks and a single by Greene in the third inning. He was lifted after he walked Carlin to force in a run for a 6-0 Padres lead.Kuroda allowed six runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings. He walked four with two strikeouts."I didn't have the velocity and I didn't have the rotation of the breaking ball," Kuroda said through an interpreter.Peavy worked out of the only two tough spots he faced.After Pierre's single in the first, he moved to second on a ground out and stole third with one out. But Peavy struck out Andre Ethier and got Russell Martin in a fly ball.James Loney, who had two hits, led off the fifth with a double. But Peavy retired the next three hitters, including Luis Maza on strikes for the final out.
The Padres have four shutouts, while the Dodgers have been shut out five times. ... Carlin's RBIs were his first in the majors. ... San Diego manager Kevin Towers notched his 1,000th win. Towers is the longest tenured current GM with the same club.