Suppan pitched eight strong innings to lead the Brewers to their seventh straight victory, 5-2 over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
While Sabathia has gone 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA in seven starts since being acquired by the Brewers from Cleveland on July 7, Suppan (8-7) has won three straight starts.
Milwaukee's starters have gone 8-2 with a 2.01 ERA in the last 10 games.
"The starters' success will let you play a long time," center fielder Mike Cameron said. "Keep playing well now, and then get an opportunity to play into the late fall."
Prince Fielder hit his 27th homer, a three-run shot, and Cameron added a solo homer as the Brewers pulled within three games of first-place Chicago in the NL Central. The Cubs were rained out at Atlanta on Tuesday.
Milwaukee increased its wild-card lead over St. Louis, which lost 4-3 at Florida, to four games.
"Any time your starters are pitching that well and getting outs quickly, you have more time to hit," Fielder said.
Suppan allowed two runs -- both on home runs -- and four hits with three strikeouts and two walks. He is 4-1 in his last seven starts.
Cameron helped Suppan with several catches deep into the power alleys of spacious Petco Park, where the outfielder played the last two seasons. He also made a diving grab of Luis Rodriguez's sinking fly ball in the first inning.
"They hit a lot of balls hard," said Cameron, a three-time Gold Glove winner. "If they hit those balls in Milwaukee, they're not coming back."
Said Suppan: "There were some plays where the ballpark helped me. Cam did a great job out there running the ball down. But I'm not pitching to the ballpark."
Suppan allowed a one-out solo homer to Kevin Kouzmanoff in the second and Jody Gerut's leadoff home run in the sixth, his fifth in seven games. Kouzmanoff's homer was his 18th, tying his rookie total from last year.
"He made his pitches, but it was a tough game for us," San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez said. "We hit a lot of balls well that were outs. He had luck on his side."
Fielder hit the first pitch from Cha Seung Baek (4-6) an estimated 399 feet down the right-field line to break a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning. Baek had issued a leadoff walk to J.J. Hardy and gave up a single to Gabe Kapler.
"That thing looked like it was shot out of a cannon," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "Those are fun home runs to watch because it was smoked."
Cameron hit his 19th homer leading off the third to tie the game at 1. San Diego decided not to re-sign Cameron in the offseason.
Salomon Torres pitched the ninth for his 23rd save in 27 chances.
It was the first time the teams met since last season when the Brewers beat San Diego in the final two regular-season games that prevented the Padres from clinching a playoff berth. San Diego went on to lose 9-8 in 13 innings at Colorado on Oct. 1, and missed the playoffs.
With its third consecutive road win, Milwaukee raised its road record to 33-28, one away victory more than the Brewers had last season.
Baek allowed five runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. Baek continued his struggles at home as he dropped to 0-6 with a 7.04 ERA in eight appearances, including seven starts. Baek is 4-0 with a 2.81 ERA on the road in six games, including five starts.
Milwaukee is 7-0 since the dugout skirmish between Fielder and RHP Manny Parra on Aug. 4 in Cincinnati. ... Brewers LF Ryan Braun (tightness in lower back) missed his third straight game. ... San Diego bench coach Craig Colbert was serving a one-game suspension for his ejection during Thursday's game at New York. ... Milwaukee (69-51) moved a season-high 18 games over .500. ... The Padres placed RHP Bryan Corey (strained left hamstring) on the DL before the game and purchased the contract of INF Sean Kazmar from Double-A San Antonio.