Philadelphia (49-48) at San Diego (53-43)

Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 63° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun Jul 22, 2007
  • TV: WPSG, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jake Peavy once seemed like a front-runner to win the NL Cy Young Award, but the San Diego Padres right-hander has fallen behind because of his lack of success over the past month.

Peavy looks for his first win since June 19 when he starts for the Padres (53-43) against the Philadelphia Phillies (49-48) on Sunday in the finale of a four-game home series.

Peavy (9-4, 2.30 ERA) has lost his last two outings and is 0-3 with 3.60 ERA in his last four, even though three of them have been quality starts.

One week after starting the July 10 All-Star game, Peavy allowed three runs, six hits and two walks while striking out five in six innings of the Padres’ 7-0 home loss to the New York Mets. The start had been delayed because of sore biceps.

“I felt OK. Health-wise, I had no problems,” Peavy told the Padres’ official Web site. “I know people are probably going to ask about the biceps, but there’s none of that. I felt pretty good, just had a couple long innings there in the fourth and fifth and just didn’t get it done.”

Peavy hasn’t gotten it done at home at pitching-friendly Petco Park, where he is 5-4 with a 3.16 ERA in 12 starts while going 4-0 with a 0.94 ERA in seven road appearances. The loss against the Mets dropped Peavy to 1-3 with a 3.18 ERA in five starts against NL East teams.

“I was probably being too fine,” said Peavy, who last lost three straight starts from June 6-17, 2006. “I probably had to go after them a little bit more.”

Peavy is 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies, who have outscored the Padres 19-7 while winning the last two games. The two-time defending NL West champion Padres have fallen one game behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers.

Philadelphia won 12-4 on Saturday as reigning NL MVP Ryan Howard went 3-for-3 with two homers and five RBIs. Howard has the majors’ most homers (11) and RBIs (28) since June 26, a 22-game span in which he has batted .314 (27-for-86).

“You’re talking about a prolific power hitter in Howard,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “If you don’t get it in the right location, he’s capable of doing that.”

Howard is 0-for-6 with three strikeouts against Peavy. After allowing one homer in his first 16 starts, Peavy has surrendered two in his last three.

San Diego’s Marcus Giles, who did not play the previous three games to correct his swing, returned to the lineup and went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Giles has hit .189 (44-for-233) in 58 games since May 7. The second baseman batted in the eighth spot even though he was in one of the top two positions for most of the season.

“The higher you hit him in the order,” Black said, “there’s expectations that go with certain spots.”

Phillies right-hander J.D. Durbin (1-2, 9.00) hopes to build off his first career win. Making his third career start Tuesday, Durbin surrendered one run and six hits in six innings in a 15-3 victory over the Dodgers.

“It was just an incredible night for me,” said Durbin, who also had three of the Phillies’ 26 hits.

Philadelphia is seeking to win three straight road games for the first time since sweeping the New York Mets from June 5-7.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Durbin LAD vs. J. Peavy Bos
6-5 Record 19-6
6.06 ERA 2.54
40 K 240
37 BB 68
1.76 WHIP 1.06

Scoreboard

Sunday, Jul 22