SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Jake Peavy might need to stub a toe more often
down the stretch.
Pitching yet again with a freak injury, San Diego's ace was
brilliant in throwing a two-hitter, matching his career best, and
striking out 14 Saturday night in a 7-1 win over the Cincinnati
Reds that kept the Padres in the lead in the NL wild-card race.
Jake Peavy brought a 2-11 record in games following Padres' losses into Saturday night's game against the Reds, who, yes, had defeated San Diego the previous night. So, what happened? Peavy threw a masterpiece: a complete-game victory, with 14 strikeouts, allowing only two hits.You have to go back more than three years to find the last major leaguer who threw a complete game, striking out at least 14 and allowing as few as two hits; the last to do it was Wade Miller for Houston at Wrigley Field on May 30, 2003. And in San Diego's 38-year big-league history, this was the first complete game of 14 or more strikeouts and two or fewer hits allowed.• For more Elias Says, Click here
Peavy accidentally kicked the leg of a sofa at home on Friday
night, injuring a toe on his left foot. He received painkilling
injections before the game. X-rays afterward showed no break."I've pitched some of my better games when a little something
nagging has been wrong with me," Peavy said. "I've had some
stubbed fingers and toes and cut hands, and I've seemed to do
pretty well."Boosted by a two-run homer from rookie Josh Barfield and three
hits from Mike Cameron, the Padres opened a one-game lead over
Philadelphia. The Phillies split a doubleheader against Atlanta.
Cincinnati fell 1½ games back in the wild-card race after losing
for the seventh time in eight games."We had to have this win," Peavy said. "There was no way.
These guys are chasing us, L.A.'s playing the kind of ball that
they're playing, but we've got to start winning series. We had to
win tonight to have a chance to win the series. Hopefully the big
lefty will do his magic tomorrow."He was referring to David Wells, who will make his first start
since being obtained Thursday from the Boston Red Sox.Peavy (8-13) was brilliant in blowing through the Reds' lineup,
surrendering only Adam Dunn's shot into the home-run porch down the
right-field line with one out in the fourth and Rich Aurilia's
single to left leading off the eighth. It was Dunn's 39th."I think Dunner hit a changeup or something," Reds manager
Jerry Narron said. "If he doesn't hit that ball, we might have had
a no-hitter against us. Richie got a hit, but I don't remember
another ball hit hard."The right-hander looked liked his old self as he pitched his
fifth career complete game. He had a complete game June 17,
allowing four hits in a 3-2 loss at Anaheim. Peavy also threw a
two-hitter May 25, 2005, at Arizona.Peavy walked two. After giving up Dunn's homer, he retired 10
straight before walking Edwin Encarnacion with two outs in the
seventh."He challenged us from the first pitch," David Ross said.
"He's the best pitcher I've faced this year. No one has made our
team look like that all year."It was the fourth time this season Peavy reached double-digits
in strikeouts, and the 14th time in his career. He set the
franchise record with 16 strikeouts against Atlanta on May 22, but
lost 3-1.Peavy has struggled this season due to shoulder tendinitis and
lack of run support. His 13 losses are the most in his career, and
he's had an uncharacteristically high ERA -- it was 4.51 coming in.
Peavy led the majors with a 2.27 ERA in 2004 and topped the NL with
216 strikeouts last year. His career ERA coming into this season
was 3.33.Peavy was bothered by a sinus infection in his last start, when
he went only 4 1-3 innings in a 6-3 loss at Colorado.Last year, Peavy cut his non-throwing left hand while taking out
the trash a day before a start, had two wisdom teeth removed, was
bothered by an upper respiratory infection and jammed his right
middle finger when he was hit by a ball while shagging flies during
batting practice. Two days after that mishap, he threw a
five-hitter.Cameron singled to left with one out in the second off Kyle
Lohse (1-2). Barfield, the son of former AL home run champ Jesse
Barfield, connected on the first pitch he saw with two outs, his
11th.Lohse thinks the Padres had a hit-and-run on, and Barfield "had
to swing at that and it came back over the middle. I wasn't just
laying them in there. I just made one mistake and he capitalized on
it."Todd Walker walked with two outs in the third and scored on Mike
Piazza's double into the gap in left-center. Brian Giles hit an RBI
double and Walker an RBI single in the seventh, and Dave Roberts
hit a two-run single in the eighth.Lohse allowed four runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck
out three and walked two.
Cameron had his 250th career stolen base. ... Ryan Freel
was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.