Peavy and the Padres look to keep the pressure on NL West-leading Arizona on Friday night when they open a three-game series against the equally hot Colorado Rockies at Petco Park.
Peavy (18-6, 2.39), the NL leader in wins, ERA and strikeouts, is the leading candidate for the Cy Young Award, which no Padres pitcher has won since Mark Davis in 1989. Peavy’s 18 wins are the most by a Padre since Kevin Brown had 18 in 1998, the last time San Diego reached the World Series.
He also has a chance at becoming the franchise’s first 20-game winner since Gaylord Perry went 21-8 in 1978.
“I want to give it my best effort,” Peavy said of a potential 20-win season. “We need to win them all, so my next two will be very important. If I personally end up winning, it’ll be great, but my team needs to win them both.”
The San Diego ace was outstanding again Saturday in a 5-1 victory over San Francisco. He allowed one run and four hits in 7 1-3 innings to win for the ninth time in 10 decisions. His only loss in that span was at Arizona on Sept. 5, when he was pitching on three days’ rest.
Peavy limited Colorado to one run over seven innings on April 8, but didn’t receive a decision as the Padres won 2-1 in 10 innings.
He is 4-4 with a 4.39 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rockies.
The Padres (85-67) completed a sweep of a last-place team for the second consecutive series on Thursday, beating Pittsburgh 6-3.
Brett Tomko pitched six solid innings and Kevin Kouzmanoff had two RBIs as San Diego pulled within one-half game of the Diamondbacks and remained three games ahead of Philadelphia in the wild-card race.
During their seven-game winning streak - spanning the first seven contests of a 10-game homestand - the Padres have outscored opponents 35-14 while posting a 1.97 ERA.
Kouzmanoff is 10-for-26 during the homestand with four doubles, a homer, five RBIs and four runs scored.
The Rockies (81-72) have won five straight and are still clinging to slim playoff hopes, sitting 4 1/2 games behind the Padres with nine games remaining.
Holliday has four homers in his last three games, and 11 in his past 12. He increased his career bests to 36 home runs and a NL-leading 131 RBIs.
“Holliday is on a tear right now and we are riding him,” Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. “We’ll need to ride him and all our boppers when we get to San Diego.”
Colorado, which is nine games above .500 for the first time since July 5, 2000, needs three wins to surpass the franchise record of 83 set in 1996, and matched the following season.
“We’ve won five in a row, but the only problem is that San Diego has won seven in a row,” said Holliday, who is 6-for-13 (.462) with a homer in his career against Peavy. “It’s good to be playing them next because they are the team ahead of us.”
Colorado rookie Franklin Morales (2-2, 3.81) looks to win his third straight start. The 21-year-old left-hander hasn’t allowed a run in either of his last two outings, giving up six hits in 11 innings while walking one and striking out nine. He pitched six innings Sunday in a 13-0 win over Florida, combining with three relievers on Colorado’s first home shutout of the season.
This will be his first appearance against the Padres.