St. Louis (14-18) at San Diego (18-17)

Partly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 65° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Fri May 11, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After matching their longest losing streak this season, the San Diego Padres turn to their ace to try and stop it.

Jake Peavy will try to keep the Padres from losing their fourth in a row as they open a three-game series on Friday night with the St. Louis Cardinals in a NL division series rematch.

San Diego (18-17) was beaten in four games by St. Louis (14-18) in the NLDS after winning four of six in the regular season. The Cardinals went on to win their first World Series in 24 years.

The Padres lost to Atlanta 5-3 on Thursday, and have scored just seven runs during its three-game skid, and haven’t dropped four straight since Aug. 14-17.

While the Padres offense has been struggling to score runs, Peavy (4-1, 1.75 ERA) is returning to form after a subpar 2006 season. He’s trying for his fifth win—a mark he didn’t reach last season until July 26 in his 20th start.

On Sunday, Peavy had a no-hitter through five innings and finished by allowing just one run and one hit over seven while striking out 10 in a 3-1 win over Florida. He has allowed one run or less in five of his seven starts with a .181 opponent batting average.

The right-hander has three straight double-digit strikeout games, compiling 36 in 21 innings. Peavy is tied with Baltimore’s Erik Bedard for the major league lead with 56 strikeouts.

In his only start against St. Louis last season, Peavy gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings of a 10-8 victory on May 28. He is 1-2 with a 4.11 ERA in five career starts against the Cardinals.

St. Louis beat Colorado 9-2 on Wednesday, and has won four of six after a season-high five-game losing streak The Cardinals had scored just 16 runs in their previous nine games before their outburst.

“That’s one of the brightest things that’s happened since the season started,” manager Tony La Russa said. “If you’re struggling like we’re struggling and you end up shaking hands, that’s a real good sign.”

Albert Pujols went 2-for-4 with an RBI after going hitless in 13 at-bats in his last four games. The slugger was 7-for-21 with two home runs and eight RBIs in six regular-season games against the Padres last year, and is 6-for-12 with two homers in his career against Peavy.

Pujols’ five hits against the Padres in the NLDS were second-most on the team behind Ronnie Belliard, now with Washington, who had six.

Kip Wells (1-6, 6.59) will try to put an end to a string of dreadful starts for the Cardinals. He’s allowed at least seven runs in each of his last three starts, and has given up 28 runs in 28 innings during a career-high five-start losing streak.

Although Wells has been pitching poorly, his offense has not been helping him much as he’s received just six runs of support in his six losses.

Last Saturday, the right-hander yielded seven runs, six hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings of a 13-0 loss to Houston.

“When things aren’t going good, it just seems to snowball,” Wells said. “It’s something you have to overcome.”

Padres right fielder Brian Giles is batting .476 (10-for-21) during a season-high five-game hitting streak, and is 1-for-9 lifetime against Wells in the regular season.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Wells SD vs. J. Peavy SF
7-17 Record 19-6
5.70 ERA 2.54
122 K 240
78 BB 68
1.62 WHIP 1.06

Scoreboard

Friday, May 11