Wednesday’s 5-1 loss left the Padres two games behind the Cubs for the NL wild card. San Diego, which also fell 7 1/2 games behind Los Angeles in the NL West, has lost seven of its last nine.
The Padres have won Peavy’s last five starts, with the right-hander going 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA during that stretch. He beat Pittsburgh 13-1 on Friday, pitching seven innings of four-hit ball while striking out a season high-tying nine.
Peavy is 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA in six road starts this season.
Corey Patterson hit a two-run homer in leading the Cubs to their sixth victory in nine games Wednesday. The center fielder has three homers in his last six games.
Carlos Zambrano pitched eight strong innings in his return from a five-game suspension for hitting St. Louis’ Jim Edmonds with a pitch last month. Zambrano allowed one run and five hits and walked one and struck out six. He pitched out of early jams in the second and third innings, when the Padres had two runners on each time but couldn’t score. San Diego managed just three hits over the final six innings.
Sammy Sosa, who belted his 564th career homer Tuesday to pass Reggie Jackson into sole possession of eighth place on the career list, was 1-for-3. The All-Star outfielder is just 2-for-22 (.090) in his last six games.
Matt Clement, Chicago’s scheduled starter, is coming off a 6-2 loss at San Francisco on Friday in which he gave up a season-high six runs, five hits and four walks over five innings.
The right-hander is 1-7 over his last 11 starts despite allowing three runs or fewer in nine of those outings.