Amid his stellar season for the Milwaukee Brewers, Wily Peralta appears comfortable being amongst some of the top pitchers in baseball.
With a chance to become the majors' first 14-game winner, Peralta tries to win his fifth straight start Thursday against the visiting San Francisco Giants.
Since allowing nine runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 9-7 loss to Philadelphia on July 8, Peralta (13-6, 3.52 ERA) is 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA. He gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 7-4 victory at St. Louis on Friday to improve to 9-1 - despite a 4.33 ERA - in his last 11 outings.
Peralta shares the major-league lead in wins with a group that includes Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright and Max Scherzer.
"That's a few Cy Young guys," Peralta told MLB's official website.
After going 11-15 with a 4.37 ERA over 32 starts in his first full season in 2013, the right-hander aimed to improve enough to be mentioned with the best in the majors.
"That's what I've been working for," said Peralta, who has cut his walks per nine-inning average from 3.58 last year to 2.61.
"I've improved in pretty much everything. My command has been unbelievable this year, and that's something I was struggling with last year."
In his only other outings versus San Francisco (62-52) that came last season, Peralta allowed six runs in four innings of a 10-8 home win, then yielded a run in 6 1-3 innings of a 3-1 road victory.
Pablo Sandoval is 2 for 5 with a double against Peralta and batting .414 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in his last seven games. He was 4 for 21 without a RBI in his previous six.
Sandoval homered for the second consecutive night Wednesday and recorded his third straight three-RBI game as the Giants evened the series with a 7-4 victory.
San Francisco has averaged 5.3 runs while winning five of seven after totaling six runs during a six-game skid.
Jake Peavy (0-2, 4.85) has allowed four runs in each of his two starts since being traded to San Francisco. He was perfect through six innings and allowed all of his runs in the seventh of a 4-2 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday.
Though the right-hander has lost four straight starts and is 0-11 with a 5.28 ERA in 17 outings since winning at Toronto with Boston on April 25, he feels confident after his latest performance.
''There are a lot of positives. I had really good command, threw the ball mostly where I want to,'' he said.
Making his first start against the Brewers (62-52) in six seasons April 4, Peavy allowed two runs in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 6-2 loss at Fenway Park.
Carlos Gomez homered in his second straight game for Milwaukee, which has dropped seven of 11, but still has a one-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central.
The All-Star is batting .363 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in his last 20 home games.
Ryan Braun, however, is 0 for 12 in three straight at Miller Park and 2 for 20 in the last five there. He's 1 for 8 versus Peavy.