Following a strong finish to May, Jake Peavy can set his sights on career win 150 to open June.
The 35-year-old right-hander can do so by winning back-to-back starts for the first time this season Sunday night, when his San Francisco Giants conclude a 10-game trip with their decisive finale against the St. Louis Cardinals.
There were times already this season that Peavy (2-5, 6.34 ERA) might have been dropped from San Francisco's rotation. However, he's allowed one or no runs in three of four starts and one total over 13 2/3 innings of the last two.
"Jake, he's so competitive," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Pitching on his birthday, Peavy moved within one of that milestone victory after yielding one hit and facing the minimum over seven innings of Tuesday's 4-0 win at Atlanta. He was 0-4 over his previous six starts.
"I know what the numbers and all that jazz look like," he told MLB's official website. "Nobody's panicked (and everyone has) treated me so well.
"It's nice to show people you can still win on this level when you have doubters out there."
Peavy is making his first appearance against the Cardinals (29-27) since Game 2 of the 2014 NLCS.
San Francisco (35-23) fell to 5-4 on this trip after blowing a 4-0 lead in Saturday's frustrating 7-4 defeat.
"You're going to have games like that,'' said shortstop Brandon Crawford, who is 6 for 11 in the last three games.
Aledmys Diaz's tying three-run homer highlighted a four-run fifth, then Stephen Piscotty and Matt Adams recorded back-to-back home runs an inning later to help St. Louis snap a three-game home skid. Brandon Moss also homered for one of his three hits as the Cardinals rebounded from Friday's 5-1 defeat.
''A lot of things happened there, guys keeping it moving,'' said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, whose team recorded its fifth game with at least four home runs.
Among the NL leaders batting .324, Diaz is 8 for 22 in the last six contests.
"Diaz continues to impress us," Matheny said.
Carlos Martinez (5-5, 3.69) posted a 6.84 ERA and walked 12 while losing five straight starts in May before striking out eight and walking one over eight innings of Monday's 6-0 victory at Milwaukee.
''It was a mental adjustment, not mechanics or physically," the right-hander said. "I think I have control of that. It is just knowing when to place the ball.''
Matheny knew Martinez was more than capable of turning things around.
''He can be as dominating as anybody in the game when he puts it all together," Matheny said.
Martinez's only previous start against the Giants came in July 2014.
San Francisco's Gregor Blanco is 0 for 9 in the last three games but 5 for 5 with a double and a triple, including the postseason, against Martinez.
Blanco's teammate Joe Panik, who doubled twice Saturday, is 6 for 15 in four career regular season games against the Cardinals.
St. Louis' Yadier Molina is 1 for 34 in his last 10 games, and 3 for 17 during the regular season against Peavy.