SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Jake Peavy wants to be clear -- he's not ducking anyone.
Peavy outpitched Ben Sheets with seven strong innings Thursday and the San Diego Padres snapped the Milwaukee Brewers' eight-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory.
Peavy (9-8) allowed one run and four hits in a matchup of the past two starters for the NL in the All-Star game. Peavy, the reigning Cy Young Award winner, struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 2.61 to take over the NL lead from San Francisco's Tim Lincecum (2.67).
Two of Peavy's last three starts have been moved back a day, with the right-hander missing matchups with San Francisco's Tim Lincecum, Johan Santana of the New York Mets, and Milwaukee's CC Sabathia on Wednesday night.
Peavy said he accidentally tuned into a local radio show on his drive home after Wednesday's game and heard talk he was avoiding tough pitching matchups.
"The people were saying 'Why didn't he pitch against Sabathia?' " Peavy said. "Sheets is every bit of what Sabathia is. This guy started the All-Star game. A matchup like that is what a competitor loves to do."
Asked if he was annoyed by the criticism, Peavy said: "Absolutely. I did get upset a little bit. It did give me some motivation."
Peavy was scheduled to start on Aug. 1 against Lincecum and the Giants. But manager Bud Black decided to give Peavy an extra day of rest since he had thrown 127 pitches in his previous start. That move meant Peavy also missed pitching against Santana on Aug. 7.
San Diego was off Monday and Black moved Peavy back to Thursday, in part, so the Padres can get as many looks at their No. 5 starter, rookie Josh Banks, before the end of the season.
San Diego reached Sheets (11-6) for three runs in the seventh inning after the Brewers scored in the top half against Peavy. Pinch-hitter Byron Myrow's sacrifice fly gave the Padres a 2-1 lead.
"What a big day for the guys to come back and beat a guy like Ben Sheets, especially after he's been so dominant," Peavy said. "Any time you match up with somebody like that, you know runs are going to be at a premium. Those are fun days and days you're not going to forget."
Sheets gave up three runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. Sheets, this year's All-Star game starter, was attempting to match his career high for wins set in 2004 and equaled when he went 12-5 last season.
"They both know that they are elite pitchers and they're trying to outdo each other," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "You would be hard pressed to find another game where you have two competitors of that magnitude on the mound in the same game."
Milwaukee entered 3 1/2 games back of NL Central-leading Chicago and four games in front of St. Louis for the wild-card lead.
Neither side managed much in the first six innings as Sheets allowed only one hit and Peavy gave up two.
"You could tell both guys had good stuff," Black said. "You could sense right away that was going to be a good one."
The Brewers went in front in the seventh when Bill Hall walked, went to second on Peavy's errant pickoff throw and scored on Cameron's single.
"Those pitchers don't give up many runs so you have to try and scratch when you get a chance," Cameron said. "It's always tough when you go against [Peavy]."
"He's got some awfully good stuff," Headley said of Sheets. "He gave me some pitches to hit and fortunately, I was able to do something with them."
"They found some holes," Sheets said. "The balls weren't hit too hard. They hit them where we weren't."
Peavy, who broke his own two-start losing streak, also lowered his home ERA to 1.42, best in the majors.
Milwaukee lost for the third time in 15 road games. ... Peavy also leads the majors with a 1.71 ERA in day games. ... Brewers LF Ryan Braun (tightness in his lower back) missed his fifth straight game. ... Padres RHP Chris Young was placed on the 15-day DL.