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Arizona at San Diego

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Arizona (74-58)000001000150
San Diego (71-59) «00000021x370

Blum's two-run blast boosts Peavy, who K's 11 D-Backs in win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- Geoff Blum and Jake Peavy set the tone for what could be a wild 10 days in the NL West.

Blum hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning and Peavy was brilliant again with 11 strikeouts, leading San Diego to a 3-1 win against Arizona on Monday night that trimmed the Diamondbacks' lead in the NL West to two games over the Padres.

It was the first of seven games between the division's top two teams in 10 days. After this four-game series, the teams will play three in Phoenix starting next Monday.

"This is a huge series for us, and we know that," said Peavy, who outdueled Livan Hernandez and improved to 10-2 in 13 starts following a San Diego loss this season. "We're playing catch-up. We're on top of the pack in the wild-card race, but we're not focused on that. We want to be division champions and we feel like we can do that."

Milton Bradley also homered for San Diego, which is trying to win its third straight division title. The Padres retained a three-game lead in the wild-card race over Philadelphia, which beat the New York Mets 9-2.

"The later in the season you go, the more energy it seems that each game has," said Arizona manager Bob Melvin, who sends out reigning Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb on Tuesday night against Justin Germano. "With those two pitchers on the mound pitching as well as they did, yeah, if felt like there was some energy."

The Padres won for the fifth time in seven games, including going 4-2 on a trip to New York and Philadelphia.

"What a big night for the boys, for us coming off a great road trip, to come from behind," Peavy said.

Peavy (15-5) tied his career high in victories. He struck out 11 for the third straight start and reached double digits for the eighth time this year, pushing his NL lead to 197.

Peavy also became the Padres' career leader in strikeouts. His first-inning punchout of Orlando Hudson was No. 1,037, moving him past Andy Benes. Peavy struck out seven straight from the second to the fourth inning.

With runners on first and third and one out in the second, Peavy struck out Miguel Montero on a 97-mph fastball, then fanned Jeff Cirillo.

"The game was on the line there," Peavy said. "Most of the time you don't cut it loose in the second inning, but I had to do all I could do to keep Conor Jackson from scoring there because I expected the game to go as it did."

Peavy and two relievers combined on a five-hitter. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 39 chances, and the 516th of his career.

Hoffman, who blew two saves last week against the Mets, retired Eric Byrnes on a groundout to shortstop to open the inning before allowing consecutive singles to Jackson and Stephen Drew to put runners on first and third. Hoffman got Jeff Salazar to pop up to shortstop and struck out Montero to end it.

Blum's shot with two outs in the seventh boosted Peavy to his sixth straight winning decision. With the Padres trailing 1-0, Blum hit a full-count pitch from Hernandez (9-9) into the seats in right field, his third. Josh Bard was aboard on a walk.

Blum laid off a few breaking balls to get the count to 3-2.

"He just happened to leave a fastball over the plate 3-2 and I got a hold of it," Blum said.

Peavy called Blum "an unsung hero," and the utility infielder has been solid since getting the bulk of the starts at second base in the second half in place of struggling Marcus Giles.

"I appreciate that," Blum said. "We're doing all we can to win ballgames. If it wasn't for Jake leaving only one run on the board for us to come back and win the ballgame, who knows what would have happened."

Bradley added a solo shot off Juan Cruz with two outs in the eighth, his ninth with San Diego and 11th overall.

Peavy's only mistake was a 2-2 slider that Byrnes drove into the first row of the second deck in left field with one out in the sixth. It was Byrnes' 19th.

"Peavy was lights-out tonight," Byrnes said. "He was throwing and hitting off the corners all night. It was tough. He didn't make many mistakes."

Peavy allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, with three walks. He also had two singles.

Hernandez also went seven, allowing two runs and six hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Hernandez dropped to 0-3 in five games at Petco Park and 10-4 overall against the Padres in 21 career starts.

Notes

  • Padres All-Star RHP Chris Young was encouraged after throwing a bullpen session and is cautiously optimistic he can start Thursday or Friday. The 6-foot-10 right-hander was forced to leave his start against the Mets on Tuesday night after five innings because of lower back pain. He returned to San Diego to have his back checked and missed his scheduled start Sunday at Philadelphia.
 
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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Geoff Blum watches his two-run blast give the Padres a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh.  (AP)
Geoff Blum watches his two-run blast give the Padres a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Diego

M. Bradley
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
San Diego

J. Peavy
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 11
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF4000021 .234
Orlando Hudson, 2B4000030 .296
Eric Byrnes, LF4111010 .298
Conor Jackson, 1B4020020 .278
Stephen Drew, SS2010200 .232
Jeff Salazar, RF4000014 .295
Miguel Montero, C3000124 .223
Jeff Cirillo, 3B3000013 .250
Livan Hernandez, P2010010 .222
   a- Augie Ojeda, PH1000000 .238
    Juan Cruz, P0000000 .000
Totals31151313  
a-grounded out for Hernandez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Conor Jackson (25, Peavy)
HR - Eric Byrnes (19, Peavy)
RBI - Eric Byrnes (72)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeff Salazar 1
DP - Salazar-Jackson
Arizona Diamondbacks
Livan Hernandez (L,9-9) 7622131 4.86
Juan Cruz 1111001 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Livan Hernandez 112-72, Juan Cruz 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Livan Hernandez 7-10
Batters Faced - Livan Hernandez 27, Juan Cruz 4
San Diego Padres
Brian Giles, RF4010001 .296
Mike Cameron, CF3000000 .252
Milton Bradley, LF4121012 .335
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4000013 .276
Khalil Greene, SS3000000 .246
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B3010000 .245
Josh Bard, C2100111 .271
Geoff Blum, 2B3112001 .257
Jake Peavy, P2020000 .214
   a- Rob Mackowiak, PH1000000 .267
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
Totals2937313  
a-grounded out for Peavy in the 7th
Batting
HR - Milton Bradley (11, Cruz), Geoff Blum (3, Hernandez)
SH - Mike Cameron (2)
RBI - Milton Bradley (33), Geoff Blum 2 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Milton Bradley (13), Geoff Blum 2 (12)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Greene-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Jake Peavy (W,15-5) 73113111 2.18
Heath Bell (H,26) 1000010 2.42
Trevor Hoffman (S,34) 1200010 2.68
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Peavy 114-74, Heath Bell 12-9, Trevor Hoffman 17-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Peavy 3-6, Heath Bell 1-1, Trevor Hoffman 1-1
Batters Faced - Jake Peavy 26, Heath Bell 3, Trevor Hoffman 5
Game Information
Attendance - 25763
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Jim Reynolds