Padres 1, Dodgers 0
“I felt like I was in Omaha, like some of those college kids,” Peavy said after dominating the division rival Los Angeles Dodgers and leading the San Diego Padres to a 1-0 victory Monday night in the opener of a four-game series.
“That was just a lot of adrenaline. This is the loudest I’ve ever heard Petco Park,” Peavy said.
The 24-year-old right-hander struck out a career-high 13 and held Los Angeles to two hits in eight innings.
Peavy had originally been scheduled to start Sunday at Minnesota, but was pushed back a day in part so he could get an extra day’s rest, but also so he could face the Dodgers.
“I was told that. I’m not sure I was supposed to say that,” said Peavy, who in his previous start lost 8-4 at Detroit on Tuesday in a game that included a rain delay of 1 hour, 43 minutes.
“Obviously you’ve got to win these games in your division,” Peavy said. “It pumped me up that they wanted me to face L.A., and I wanted to face L.A. I hope the team feeds off this.”
The NL West-leading Padres won their third straight game after losing 12 of 15 to start June. The Dodgers lost their seventh straight.
Brian Giles went 3-for-3 with a walk, including a one-out double in the fourth inning that drove in the game’s only run. Trevor Hoffman put runners on first and second in the ninth before finishing for his 18th save in 20 chances, and the 411th of his career. It was the first time the Dodgers had two runners on base all game.
Peavy (6-2) retired the first 13 Dodgers before Olmedo Saenz singled to left past diving shortstop Khalil Greene. Dodgers starter Brad Penny doubled in the sixth, with the ball hanging up under the bench in the Dodgers’ bullpen down the right-field line. Penny reached third with two outs before Peavy struck out Jason Repko. Peavy walked only one.
“The way he was throwing early on, he was almost unhittable,” Saenz said.
“Jake was light’s out tonight,” catcher Robert Fick said. “He was right there with everything.”
Said Padres manager Bruce Bochy: “It’s hard to be any better. His stuff was electric. What an effort. We needed it, because the other guy was pitching well, too.”
With Ramon Hernandez nursing a sore wrist that could land him on the disabled list, Fick caught for the second time in three games, and he clearly meshed well with Peavy.
“Robert’s a great competitor,” Peavy said. “Unbelievable. The dude can catch me anytime we go out there.
“Obviously when somebody’s on the same page and you notice he’s giving you a fist behind the plate, between his legs, letting me know, ‘I’m with you here,’ that gets you excited, pumped up, along with 40,000 people screaming,” Peavy said.
Peavy, whose 2.27 ERA last year was the lowest in the majors, was coming off his first back-to-back losses of the season. Throwing more changeups than he normally does, he struck out eight of 10 from the last batter of the first through the fourth, when he struck out the side.
“The guy threw a great game,” Penny said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the National League. It’s fun to pitch against a guy like that.”
Giles’ one-hop double to the fence in left-center with one out in the fourth scored Fick from first. Fick led off with a single to right.
Giles “hit all my pitches tonight,” Penny said. “It was a 3-2 changeup and he hit it pretty good in the gap.”
Penny (3-4) allowed one run and six hits in six innings, struck out four and walked none.
Dodgers closer Eric Gagne, on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained ligament in his right elbow, will undergo a second MRI in Los Angeles on Tuesday and be examined by team doctor Frank Jobe. … OF Milton Bradley, who tore a ligament in a finger on his right hand on May 29, had an MRI Monday that showed healing in the area, manager Jim Tracy said. Bradley had an injection, and won’t do any baseball activities for five days. … Padres RHP Adam Eaton played catch before the game and said his right middle finger felt fine. He missed his schedule start Monday night due to a strained flexor tendon in the finger. Eaton had an MRI on Monday and it showed that nothing was torn. The pitcher said he should know by Tuesday whether he’ll be able to start Friday night against Seattle. … Peavy’s previous strikeout high was 11, three times.