Peavy’s pitching, Cameron’s slam lead Padres over rival Dodgers, 7-0
Peavy, the big league ERA leader, pitched seven brilliant innings and Mike Cameron hit a grand slam for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-0 Saturday night to maintain their slim lead in the NL West.
Peavy (16-5) allowed two hits, struck out nine while walking just one and lowered his ERA from 2.18 to 2.10. He set a career high for wins in a season and won his seventh straight decision. Peavy is 8-1 lifetime in 17 starts against the Padres’ biggest rivals.
“I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t excited to win my 16th game and get a career high, but more importantly the team won the series and the team won the game tonight,” Peavy said. “I’ve got five or however many starts left and I’m going to go out and try to win those for the team as well and try to get this team to the playoffs.
“You look at individual stats, and I don’t think anybody in this room here is worried about how the season ends up if we’re not world champions. So we want to try to work our way toward getting in the playoffs, then that goal.”
Adrian Gonzalez also connected for the Padres, who retained their lead over Arizona by one percentage point in the NL West. San Diego won for the ninth time in 11 games and took the first two of this three-game series.
“We are playing good baseball,” Peavy said. “I think finally we’re clicking on most cylinders. We do that, we’re a tough team to beat.”
Dodgers manager Grady Little agreed.
“If you come in half-stepping, not executing plays, not executing pitching, you’re going to have a tough time right now,” Little said.
Peavy, the first NL pitcher to win 16 games, padded his league lead to 206.
Manager Bud Black doesn’t think it’s too early to start pumping Peavy as a top Cy Young candidate.
“There’s no question he’s throwing the ball as well as anybody in the National League over the last two months,” Black said. “He’s showing why we feel he’s the best pitcher in the National League. There’s a month left and I think he’s a guy that if he continues like this, he has to be thought of very highly among those being considered.”
Dodgers All-Star catcher Russell Martin, who was ejected in the sixth for arguing with umpire Dan Iassogna after taking a called third strike, lauded Peavy’s effort.
“He definitely threw the ball well,” Martin said. “He’s been doing that the whole year. He didn’t really make many mistakes. When he’s on top of his game, he’s tough. It’s hard to get base runners on.”
After Sunday’s series finale, the Padres open a three-game series at Arizona on Monday afternoon.
Los Angeles dropped five games back in both the division and the wild-card race.
“You have to find a way to get a win,” Martin said. “You don’t want to fall behind too much.”
After Lowe (11-12) struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff to open the fifth, he walked Josh Bard and allowed a single to Geoff Blum. Peavy hit a grounder to Hillenbrand, who had to go to his knees to his left to field it, then hurriedly got up and threw wide of first for a two-base error that allowed Bard to score.
Brian Giles was intentionally walked to bring up Cameron, who cleared the fence down the left-field line on a 1-2 pitch to give the Padres a 6-0 lead. It was his 19th.
Lowe allowed six hits and seven runs, six earned in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out four and walked six.
Gonzalez homered to right on Lowe’s first pitch of the second, his 24th.
Dodgers LHP David Wells dropped the appeal of his seven-game suspension he drew while with the Padres and began serving the punishment Saturday night. Wells will miss his next scheduled start Wednesday at the Chicago Cubs. That start will be made by left-hander Eric Stults. The 44-year-old Wells was suspended for his animated argument with an umpire who ejected him on July 7 against the Atlanta Braves. … Stults was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday night to make room on the roster for Esteban Loaiza, who will start Monday at Chicago. Stults will be eligible to rejoin the club on Tuesday, when the minor league season is over. … Padres C Michael Barrett was reinstated him from the 15-day DL.