"I knew I struck out quite a few in a row," said Peavy, who tied a career-high with 16 strikeouts. "I'm just trying to get outs. Records are the last thing from your mind."
"That's a tough night," Peavy said. "That bullpen has picked me up time and time again, and they're going to have nights like this, and we can't expect all of them to be perfect."
For three memorable innings, Peavy was perfect.
The 25-year-old Alabaman struck out the side in the second, third and fourth innings. The first eight were swinging as the Diamondbacks flailed helplessly at an assortment of darting fastballs and diving breaking pitches.
Peavy's strikeout streak ended when he walked Eric Byrnes on a 3-2 pitch after a check swing call by first-base umpire Jeff Kellogg.
"It was close," Kellogg said. "He had a lot of leg movement, but the bat didn't get around."
Peavy had singled and run the bases in the top of the fifth. When he went back to the mound, Peavy didn't realize he was so close to tying Seaver.
"Now that I do, I wish I had that pitch back," he said, referring to ball four to Byrnes. "I didn't know it was any kind of record."
Peavy fell four short of the strikeout record for a nine-inning game -- 20 shared by Roger Clemens (twice) and Kerry Wood.
"I just felt good," Peavy said. "I had a good breaking ball, lively fastball. Threw a couple of changeups, cutters, sliders -- a little bit of everything."
Chase Field is often a hitter's paradise when the roof is open on a warm night. But on an 87-degree night in the desert, Peavy owned the Diamondbacks, striking out every man in the lineup at least once and getting rookies Chris Young and Carlos Quentin three times apiece.
"That was a pretty dominating performance right there," said Arizona manager Bob Melvin, who was ejected by home-plate umpire Mike Reilly for arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning.
Seaver set the consecutive strikeouts record for the New York Mets against San Diego on April 22, 1970, when he struck out his final 10 batters -- and 19 in all.
Peavy's first eight strikeouts were swinging. The streak began in the second inning, when Peavy struck out Byrnes, Drew and Quentin.
In the third, Peavy struck out Chris Snyder -- who was thrown out at first after catcher Pete Laforest dropped the pitch -- Webb and Young. Peavy had fallen behind Young 3-0.
In the fourth, Peavy fanned Alberto Callaspo, Orlando Hudson and Chad Tracy, who was called out.
"Incredible outing," said Padres manager Bud Black, a former pitcher.
San Diego's previous record for consecutive strikeouts in a game was six, shared by four pitchers.
Black decided seven innings and 117 pitches were enough for Peavy, whose career high for pitches is 128. Black called on Scott Linebrink, who gave up a leadoff homer in the eighth to pinch-hitter Miguel Montero.
Hoffman (1-1) relieved to start the ninth, walked Tracy with one out, then allowed Drew's homer on a 3-1 changeup.
With one swing, Drew had spoiled Peavy's night and snapped Arizona's five-game losing streak. Tony Pena (2-1) earned the victory with a scoreless ninth inning.
"I put a good swing on it," Drew said. "It's a good feeling to lift the team when we're kind of struggling like this. Gosh, we keep battling."
Hoffman, baseball's all-time saves leader, blew a save for the first time in five chances. Hoffman said he wasn't surprised to see the fat pitch sail over the fence.
"That usually happens when you give good hitters pitches like that," Hoffman said. "Unfortunately, that's going to be talked about and not the great pitching performances by both Jake Peavy and Brandon Webb."
Webb, the Cy Young winner, allowed two runs on six hits in eight innings. He walked one and struck out six.
Kevin Kouzmanoff hit an RBI double in the second and Terrmel Sledge homered in the fourth. Sledge, who came in 1-for-10 against Webb, finished 3-for-4.
Webb said he felt he needed to be almost perfect to give his team a chance.
"Whenever they've got somebody out there throwing like that, you've got to really bear down," Webb said. "I kept us in the game as much as possible."
- Hoffman pitched in his 801st career game, all with the Padres. Only Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators and Elroy Face of the Pittsburgh Pirates made more appearances with one team, both with 802 games.
- Peavy became the Padres' career leader in double-digit strikeout games with 16, passing Andy Benes (1989-1995).
- Linebrink struck out two men, which gave the Padres 18 for the game, tying a club record set against Atlanta on May 22, 2006. Peavy also started that game.
- The Padres had not blown a lead all season.