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Peavy looks to keep Padres atop NL West

Sep 28, 2006 - 1:19 PM San Diego (85-73) at Arizona (75-83) 9:40 pm EDT

PHOENIX (Ticker) - The San Diego Padres have four games remaining on the season and their lead in the National League West just got a little tighter.

The first-place Padres face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks in opener of a four-game series on Thursday. San Diego stands only one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West.

The Padres held an one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning until Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer off rookie Cla Meredith as they dropped a 4-2 decision against St. Louis on Wednesday. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak.

San Diego ace Jake Peavy (10-14, 4.13 ERA) was stellar in his last outing, yielding one run and six hits with 11 strikeouts in eight innings during Saturday's 2-1 win against Pittsburgh.

The 25-year-old is 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA in two starts against the Diamondbacks this season, having surrendered nine runs and 16 hits in 11 1/3 innings. In 16 lifetime starts against them, Peavy is 6-8 with a 5.65 ERA.

Arizona counters with Miguel Batista (11-7, 4.36), who goes for his second win in six games this month. Batista gave up three runs in eight frames to collect his first win since August 9 against the Dodgers last Saturday.

The Dominican righthander yielded one run and six hits in seven innings but did not factor in a 2-1 loss at San Diego on August 20. He is 3-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 21 games - 10 starts - against the Padres.

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