Jake Peavy didn't appear to have much left in the tank before enjoying a revival with the San Francisco Giants last season.
Now he's hoping to continue that success back where it all began 13 years ago.
Making his first start at Petco Park since 2009, Peavy will try to help the offensively challenged Giants avoid a third straight loss by earning a split of their road series against the Padres on Sunday.
Peavy (7-13, 3.73 ERA in 2014) shined over his seven-plus seasons with the Padres, posting the NL's lowest ERA twice and capturing his only Cy Young Award in 2007. He's the franchise's all-time strikeouts leader with 1,348.
Partly because he pitched in the AL over the past five-plus seasons until joining San Francisco last July, the 33-year-old has never pitched in San Diego as an opponent. As a Padre, he went 38-27 with a 2.74 ERA in 90 starts at Petco.
Peavy appeared to be nearing the end of his career in Boston last season, going 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA, before undergoing a resurgence with the Giants. He went 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA over his last six regular-season starts - all San Francisco wins.
Now he'll try to continue that upward trend after his season debut was pushed back because of some lower back discomfort.
"He's doing well," manager Bruce Bochy told MLB's official website. "The plan is to start him Sunday."
Peavy has had a difficult time containing Justin Upton, who has gone 7 for 13 with a home run in their matchups. The former Atlanta slugger has hit safely in all six games after going 2 for 4 with two RBIs in Saturday's 10-2 win.
Matt Kemp had four hits, while Yangervis Solarte and Will Middlebrooks added three apiece to help the Padres hammer out 20 hits in a game started by Madison Bumgarner after the clubs split the first two with a total of two runs scored.
"This was a good game to get under our belt and kind of let everybody relax," Kemp said. "It's a game that can carry over to tomorrow."
The Giants have totaled three runs while hitting .162 in the series after scoring 16 with a .330 average in their first three games. Joaquin Arias provided the only highlight Saturday with a solo home run after starting third baseman Casey McGehee left in the first inning with a left knee sprain.
Nori Aoki has been a bright spot, hitting .400 while extending a 14-game regular-season hitting streak.
San Francisco has batted .159 and totaled seven runs while dropping five of six in San Diego. That doesn't bode well heading into a matchup with Tyson Ross, who has gone 5-0 with a 1.12 ERA in his last six starts at Petco.
The right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.52 mark in five career starts against the Giants. He limited them to no runs and four hits with nine strikeouts over eight innings in a 2-1 victory in his most recent home meeting last April.
Ross (0-0, 3.00 ERA) will try to keep their bats quiet after he allowed two runs over six innings Tuesday before the Padres rallied for six runs in the final three innings for a 7-3 win at Dodger Stadium.
Angel Pagan has done well against Ross with five hits in 12 career at-bats, while Buster Posey and Brandon Belt have each gone 4 for 11. Belt, though, isn't expected back in the lineup until Monday as he recovers from a strained right groin.