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Peavy resembles ace of old, fanning 13 for hot Padres

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- When Jake Peavy's ERA rose faster than the price of gas, people started wondering what was wrong with San Diego's ace.

It turns out there's nothing to worry about, not since he quickly regained his All-Star form.

Peavy tied his career high with 13 strikeouts and allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings Thursday to lead the Padres to their 11th victory in 12 games, 8-5 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Peavy's only disappointment was that throwing 109 pitches kept him from having a shot at a complete game.

"When you have good stuff, you're going to end up striking guys out," he said. "I just hate that I threw so many pitches. I should have finished that game. I wanted to finish that game. Not that I was walking a lot of guys, just going deep in counts, striking guys out. So it was one of those things."

Peavy (3-3) lowered his ERA to 3.61 after it had reached 5.17 on April 25. He looked more like the pitcher whose 2.27 ERA in 2004 was the best in the majors, and who led the NL last year with 216 strikeouts.

During Peavy's last start, Saturday night against the Chicago Cubs, bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds noticed that the pitcher's balance was off.

"I was rocking a little too much and my upper body just wasn't in sync with my lower body," Peavy said. "I didn't even know I was doing it. Ak even called down in the middle of last game and said, 'Man, Peavy's all out of whack."'

Peavy, pitching coach Darren Balsley and Akerfelds worked on it during a bullpen session Monday, "and obviously it made a whole lot of difference today," Peavy said.

"I wasn't as balanced as I need to be to make quality pitches on a consistent basis," he said. "I knew I felt out of whack. You have starts like today when you can close your eyes and probably throw a fastball low and away, and you have starts where you're trying to do everything in the book out there trying to get that feel."

The Padres took two of three from the Brewers, who ended San Diego's nine-game winning streak Tuesday night. The Padres won six of seven on the homestand.

Pitching was a concern coming into the season, and the Padres so far have dispelled that fear.

"Top to bottom, I can't say enough about our pitching staff," left fielder Dave Roberts said. "Without the quality starts, and the quality innings that the bullpen has given us, I'm afraid to think where we'd be right now."

The Brewers, who struck out 16 times, have lost seven of nine. They went 1-5 on a six-game road trip through Los Angeles and San Diego.

Peavy allowed a single by Bill Hall and a double by Chad Moeller to start the third, putting runners on second and third. The right-hander then escaped the jam by striking out pitcher Ben Hendrickson, retiring Gabe Gross on a fly to short left and striking out J.J. Hardy.

Peavy, San Diego's only All-Star last year, walked two. He set his career high of 13 strikeouts last June 20 in a 1-0 home win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He also had two hits and two RBI, contributing to big rallies in the first and third innings. Just 1-for-14 coming in, Peavy drove in runs by beating out an infield single in the first and hitting a ground-rule double in the third. Roberts had three hits and two stolen bases.

The first five Padres batters of the game reached base and scored. Mike Cameron, Rob Bowen, Geoff Blum and Peavy each singled in a run, and Adrian Gonzalez had a sacrifice fly.

The Padres added three more in the third, when Peavy's hit was the third of three consecutive one-out doubles. Blum chased Hendrickson with an RBI double, and Peavy bounced a ball over the center-field fence off Jared Fernandez to bring in Blum. Cameron added a two-out RBI single.

"That's why starting pitching is so important," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "Your game generally goes on how your starting pitcher fares. You get in a hole early, it's hard to claw back, especially against an All-Star pitcher like Jake Peavy."

Hendrickson (0-1) allowed seven runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings, walked three and struck out one.

"You leave the ball up and they're going to hit you," he said.

Milwaukee scored four runs in the eighth. Dewon Brazelton replaced Peavy to start the inning and allowed three consecutive hits and a walk. Hall had a leadoff triple and Moeller singled him in. With Brian Sweeney pitching, Geoff Jenkins drove in a run on a groundout and Carlos Lee hit a two-run single.

Corey Koskie homered leading off the ninth against Scott Linebrink.

Notes

Bowen partially dislocated his left thumb when he was hit by Prince Fielder's foul tip with two outs in the fourth. Bowen caught the last two pitches of the inning, then made way for Josh Bard. Padres manager Bruce Bochy said the rookie catcher is a candidate for the disabled list.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Jake Peavy yields just two hits over seven innings, while tying a career high with 13 strikeouts.  (AP)
Jake Peavy yields just two hits over seven innings, while tying a career high with 13 strikeouts. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Diego

J. Peavy
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 2
K 13
San Diego

D. Roberts
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Gabe Gross, CF3100122
J.J. Hardy, SS4000035
Geoff Jenkins, RF4001030
Carlos Lee, LF3012100
Prince Fielder, 1B4000022
Corey Koskie, 3B3111121
Bill Hall, 2B4120011
Chad Moeller, C4121010
Ben Hendrickson, P1000012
    Jared Fernandez, P0000000
   a- Brady Clark, PH1000010
    Chris Demaria, P0000000
   b- Rickie Weeks, PH1110000
    Justin Lehr, P0000000
   c- Jeff Cirillo, PH1000000
Totals3357531613 
a-struck out for Fernandez in the 6th
b-singled for Demaria in the 8th
c-grounded out for Lehr in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chad Moeller (, Peavy)
3B - Bill Hall (, Brazelton)
HR - Corey Koskie (, Linebrink)
RBI - Geoff Jenkins (), Carlos Lee 2 (), Corey Koskie (), Chad Moeller ()
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 2 ()
Team LOB - 4
Milwaukee Brewers
Ben Hendrickson (L,-) 2.1777310
Jared Fernandez 2.2411010
Chris Demaria 2000000
Justin Lehr 1100100
WP - Ben Hendrickson ()
Pitches-Strikes - Ben Hendrickson 73-43, Jared Fernandez 46-32, Chris Demaria 21-15, Justin Lehr 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ben Hendrickson 4-2, Jared Fernandez 3-4, Chris Demaria 2-4, Justin Lehr 1-2
Batters Faced - Ben Hendrickson 17, Jared Fernandez 12, Chris Demaria 6, Justin Lehr 5
San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts, LF5130003
Mike Cameron, CF5122002
Brian Giles, RF3110100
    Ben Johnson, RF0000100
Rob Bowen, C2111102
    Josh Bard, C2000002
Khalil Greene, SS3100101
Josh Barfield, 2B4000013
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3111000
Geoff Blum, 3B4122010
Jake Peavy, P3122000
    Dewon Brazelton, P0000000
    Brian Sweeney, P0000000
    Alan Embree, P0000000
   a- Mark Bellhorn, PH1000000
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000
Totals3581284213 
a-popped out for Embree in the 8th
Batting
2B - Dave Roberts (, Fernandez), Adrian Gonzalez (, Hendrickson), Geoff Blum (, Hendrickson), Jake Peavy (, Fernandez)
SF - Adrian Gonzalez ()
RBI - Mike Cameron 2 (), Rob Bowen (), Adrian Gonzalez (), Geoff Blum 2 (), Jake Peavy 2 ()
2-OUT RBI - Mike Cameron (), Geoff Blum (), Jake Peavy ()
SB - Dave Roberts 2 (, 2nd base off Hendrickson/Moeller, 2nd base off Lehr/Moeller), Mike Cameron (, 2nd base off Hendrickson/Moeller)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Greene-Barfield-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Jake Peavy (W,-) 72002130
Dewon Brazelton0344100
Brian Sweeney 0.2100010
Alan Embree 0.1000010
Scott Linebrink 1111011
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Peavy 109-69, Dewon Brazelton 14-7, Brian Sweeney 18-12, Alan Embree 5-4, Scott Linebrink 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Peavy 3-4, Brian Sweeney 1-0, Scott Linebrink 1-1
Batters Faced - Jake Peavy 24, Dewon Brazelton 4, Brian Sweeney 3, Alan Embree 1, Scott Linebrink 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22500
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Bruce Froemming