The 23-year-old right-hander will look to build on his breakthrough year as the San Diego Padres open a four-game series with the Pirates at Petco Park.
Peavy led the majors with a 2.27 ERA, and set career highs for wins (15) and strikeouts (173) last season. He did his best work against Pittsburgh, going 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA while striking out 18 over 13 innings.
“He’s one of the best right-handers in the National League,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He’s got great stuff. He’s a great competitor. We’ll have our hands full.”
The Padres gained a split of their season-opening two-game series with a 14-6 win at Colorado on Wednesday. Brian Giles homered for the second straight game and had five RBIs for the Padres, who bounced back after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth inning of a 12-10 loss to Colorado on Monday.
Thursday’s matchup will feature the top two NL rookies from 2004. Pittsburgh’s Jason Bay, a former San Diego prospect, won the award after hitting 26 homers and driving in 82 runs. Greene finished second after hitting .273 with 15 homers and 65 RBIs.
The Pirates were swept in their season-opening two-game series by visiting Milwaukee, capped by Wednesday’s 10-2 rout.
Tike Redman hit a two-run homer for Pittsburgh, which also lost 9-2 on Monday to the worst hitting team (.248) in the NL last season.
“You always want to play well at home. But the fact is it is two ballgames,” McClendon said. “It’s certainly not the end of the world.”
The left-hander, who spent just one of his seven major league seasons in the NL, has never faced the Padres. He was 8-6 with a 2.90 ERA on the road last season.