It’s the second straight weekend a team from Chicago is visiting Petco Park. The San Diego Padres are hoping for better results this time around.
The Padres hope to snap out of a funk when they meet the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a three-game interleague series between division leaders.
San Diego, which leads the NL West, is 2-6 in June after a 22-6 mark in May — a franchise-best for any month. The rough start to this month included losing three of four to the Chicago Cubs last weekend.
The Padres avoided a three-game sweep to Cleveland by holding on for a 3-2 win Thursday. Adam Eaton pitched seven scoreless innings for his eighth straight victory, improving to 9-1.
Despite the win, San Diego managed only three hits as its offensive woes continued. The Padres have scored a total of four runs over the last four games and have failed to score in 36 of their last 39 innings.
“I think it’s big for us to get a win before the White Sox come in,” Eaton said. “Obviously, they’re probably a better team than what’s over there right now. That’s nothing against Cleveland, but obviously they’re a .500 team and Chicago’s got one of the best records in the game and is in first place. We definitely need to bear down and play some good baseball.”
Struggling Brian Giles homered on Thursday in his first start in center field. Giles is hitting .185 (5-for-27) over his last nine games.
He received the start in center because Dave Roberts missed his third straight game with a sore right shoulder. Roberts may be back in the lineup Friday.
“He (Giles) does a nice job in center field,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. “I never have a question at any of the outfield spots with Giles.”
Chicago enters with a major league-leading 40-19 record after sweeping a three-game series at Colorado. The White Sox scored 26 runs in the series and used a 22-hit attack in a 15-5 win on Wednesday.
Despite its gaudy record, Chicago finds itself with only a 4 1/2 -game lead over second-place Minnesota, which has won three straight Central Division titles. The Twins’ strong play is keeping the pressure on the White Sox.
“We can’t shake (the Twins), and that to me is the whole story,” Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko said. “If we were only 10 games over .500 but seven games up, I would take that. The whole thing, the whole object is to win the division and get to the playoffs. So, I’m not getting caught up in records. Games behind and ahead are all that matters.”
This is the second-ever series between the teams. The White Sox won two of three at home against San Diego from June 13-15, 2003.