San Diego knew it had to beat Arizona to maintain its NL West
lead over Los Angeles, and the Padres responded by routing the
Diamondbacks 12-4 to maintain a one-game margin over their rivals,
who beat Colorado 19-11.
"We knew we had to get going," said Jake Peavy (11-14), who
won his third straight decision. "When the Dodgers win, you know
coming in here we had to play good baseball."
San Diego's victory was all the more satisfying because it came
one night after the Padres blew a late lead and lost at St. Louis.
"Many times we've talked about it -- it's how you handle it,"
manager Bruce Bochy said. "We came out focused and played well
after a tough loss. That's the only way you're going to have a
winning season is if you things like that, because you're going to
have to deal with tough losses and gut-wrenching losses."
San Diego closes with three more games at Arizona while the
Dodgers finish with a three-game series at San Francisco.
Thursday night's victory gave the Padres at least a tie for the
wild card with Philadelphia, which lost at Washington. But the
Padres are aiming for their second consecutive division title.
"The players just realize that we're the best team in the
division," outfielder Dave Roberts said. "We're going to win this
division. We know it. We expect it. We expected that all year long,
so if you lose one, you've got to go and get them tomorrow."
Peavy allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, struck out
seven and walked four. He leads the league with 215 strikeouts.
"My job is very easy when the boys go out and do what they did
tonight," Peavy said.
Miguel Batista (11-8) gave up seven runs and eight hits in 3 2/3
innings -- his shortest outing of the season. It may also have been
Batista's final start for the Diamondbacks, who have not said
whether they will try to re-sign the 35-year-old right-hander.
San Diego took a 4-0 lead in the second when Batista walked
Geoff Blum with the bases loaded, Josh Barfield hit into a
run-scoring forceout and Roberts had a two-run single, Mike Cameron
added an RBI single in the third, and Giles hit a two-run homer in
After Arizona closed to 7-2 in the fourth, Branyan homered off
Greg Aquino leading off the fifth -- his sixth homer in 22 games
since San Diego acquired him from Tampa Bay Aug. 24.
Peavy entered 6-8 with a 5.65 ERA against the Diamondbacks,
going 0-2 this year. After hitting leadoff man Craig Counsell and
walking Orlando Hudson, Peavy retired eight of his next nine
batters. He gave up run-scoring singles to Conor Jackson and Miguel
Montero in the fourth.
"Early on, his velocity was down a little bit," Arizona
manager Bob Melvin said. "It looked like it picked up as the game
was going on."
San Diego improved to 23-50 at Arizona. ... Batista will
sign copies of his first novel, "The Avenger of Blood," on Friday
at the ballpark. ... Arizona Cardinal running back Edgerrin James
attended the game as a guest of general partner Jeff Moorad. ...
Arizona INF Robby Hammock doubled in his first major league at-bat
since Oct. 3, 2004. ... Roberts stole his 48th base, extending his