With his team slipping in the NL West race, the 23-year-old right-hander will to turn in another solid start as they open a three-game series with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.
San Diego fell 6 1/2 games behind first-place Los Angeles with Thursday’s 5-3, 10-inning loss to Philadelphia. Brian Giles with 3-for-3 with two RBIs as the Padres lost their fourth straight.
After finishing last in the NL West the last two seasons, San Diego is trying to capture the division for the first time since 1998, when it won it by 9 1/2 games before going on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series.
The Padres have won each of Peavy’s last four starts and 10 of 12 overall, including a 3-2 home win over the Dodgers on Saturday. He didn’t receive the decision, giving up two runs, seven hits while striking out nine through 7 2-3 innings.
“My emotions were going crazy,” said Peavy, who has won five of his last six decisions. “It was a very emotional game. It was a must-win, one we couldn’t give up.”
After opening the second half of the season with eight victories in 10 games, the Pirates have dropped eight of 10, including four in a row with Thursday’s 8-3 road loss to the Dodgers.
Jason Bay hit his first homer since July 16 for Pittsburgh, which had hit only one homer in seven previous games.
“It would be nice to get somebody hot and ride somebody’s bat for three or four games,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “That’s usually the way it works.”
Pittsburgh won eight of their last 12 games at San Diego, including all three last season.
“We’re going to show up tomorrow and try to beat the Padres,” McClendon said. “I’m not going to push a panic button. We’re going to stay focused. We’re glad to get out of town. Now let’s go to San Diego and see what we can do.”