Peavy tries to lead the Padres (66-63) to their sixth win in seven games when they face the Colorado Rockies (60-69) on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series.
The Padres beat the Rockies 5-2 on Saturday to pull within one-half game of Cincinnati for the NL wild card. The Reds lost 4-1 to San Francisco on Saturday.
San Diego also remained one game behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Padres scored three runs in the first inning Saturday while Clay Hensley limited Colorado to one run and seven hits over seven innings.
Cla Meredith pitched a scoreless eighth inning to extend his streak to 20 2-3 shutout innings, tying the Padres’ rookie record set by Jose Melendez in 1991.
Peavy (7-12, 4.35 ERA) looks to match those strong performances and build on one of his best outings of the season. He pitched seven shutout innings Tuesday, scattering three hits in a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers.
He threw 69 of his 108 pitches for strikes, walking one and striking out seven.
“This is as good as I’ve ever felt,” said Peavy, the 2005 NL strikeout leader with 213. “This is how I felt when I was winning ERA and strikeout titles. … Obviously, my personal numbers have been out the door for a while— 7-12, nothing’s going to look good about that.”
Peavy, who recorded a major league-best 2.27 ERA in 2004, has a 1.89 ERA over five starts in August, allowing just seven runs in 33 1-3 innings while holding opponents to a .183 batting average. He has issued 11 walks during that span while striking out 33, but is 2-2 as the Padres have averaged only 1.89 runs in support of him.
Peavy has also won two straight road starts, giving up four runs in 14 innings. He had one of his worst outings of the season against the Rockies, however, allowing eight runs and 11 hits over four innings in a 10-4 loss on April 9. Peavy is 4-3 with a 4.32 ERA in nine career starts against them.
He will be opposed by Aaron Cook (8-12, 4.05), who is trying to avoid losing his third straight start. The right-hander gave up three runs and seven hits over six innings in a 4-1 defeat to Milwaukee on Tuesday.
“I felt like I was getting my sinker down a little more,” said Cook, who has just three wins in his last 17 starts. “I was starting to turn my breaking ball a little bit more (Tuesday), too. It makes a big difference being able to throw that pitch with my breaking ball.”
Cook is 6-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 13 career starts versus the Padres— including 11 starts—but had his five-game winning streak against them snapped with a 2-0 loss on May 30. He allowed two runs and 10 hits over seven innings.
Cook will try to help the Rockies rebound from their seventh loss in their last eight games.
The top three batters in Colorado’s lineup—Kaz Matsui, Todd Helton and Garrett Atkins—combined to go 7-for-14 on Saturday, but failed to plate a run. Helton is batting .385 (10-for-26) with five doubles and two homers during his career against Peavy.