The San Diego Padres turned in their best-ever month in May. So far, June isn’t going as well.
The Padres look to bounce back from their first loss in 12 home games as they open a four-game series with the streaking Chicago Cubs at Petco Park.
The Padres went 22-6 in May, but lost 5-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. The defeat snapped their 11-game home winning streak, the best in team history.
The Padres will have to slow down the Cubs if they hope to get back on track. Chicago beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-5 on Wednesday for its sixth straight win.
Derrek Lee went 5-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs, matching his career-high for hits. He raised his major league-leading batting average to .380, improved his major league-best RBI total to 50, and tied Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees for the major league lead with his 17th homer.
Neifi Perez added a three-run homer for the Cubs, who moved a season-high three games over .500. John Koronka, the ninth Cubs pitcher to start a game this season, earned the win in his major league debut. The Cubs used only seven starters all of last year.
Glendon Rusch will look to give the Cubs another strong start. Rusch started the season in the bullpen, but was moved to the rotation after Kerry Wood was placed on the disabled list and made his first start of the season on May 7.
Rusch has given a lift to the Cubs’ rotation, which is also without the injured Mark Prior. Rusch has not allowed more than two runs in any of his five starts and has won his last two, including Saturday’s 5-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
“I’m just happy to be a part of this staff,” Rusch said. “Last year I felt it was an honor when I came here and got a chance to pitch in the rotation with Wood, Prior, Zambrano and Maddux. I think I feel the same way this year.”
Rusch allowed just one run and four hits in seven innings against the Rockies.
“I feel good as far as being up there on my pitch count,” he said. “I think I have more stamina lately, and in the last couple of starts, I’ve felt good late in the game.”