Chicago (20-24) at San Diego (26-20)

Partly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Thu May 24, 2007
  • TV: CSN, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It should come as no surprise to the Chicago Cubs that the San Diego Padres own one of the best home records in the NL.

The Padres look to win seven straight home games over the Cubs for the first time in 25 years as they wrap up their three-game series at Petco Park on Thursday.

San Diego (26-20) is tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead, thanks to its play at Petco Park. The Padres have won eight of their last 10 at home, and are tied with Atlanta for the second-best home record in the league (14-8).

After winning all seven games against Chicago (20-24) last season, including a four-game series at Petco Park, San Diego is frustrating the Cubs again this season.

The Padres are outscoring Chicago 24-9 during their home winning streak, and have not won seven straight home games over the Cubs since reeling off nine in a row May 18, 1980-May 25, 1982.

Kevin Kouzmanoff’s two-run homer in the seventh inning lifted San Diego to a 2-1 victory Wednesday. Kouzmanoff, who also homered in Tuesday’s 5-1 win, is hitting .452 (14-for-31) with five doubles and 10 RBIs in his last 10 games to raise his batting average 94 points to .202.

“I’m more excited to get to the ballpark every day now,” Kouzmanoff said. “I’m just trying to stay consistent and keep it going.”

Chris Young (5-3, 2.89 ERA) looks to lead the Padres to another sweep over the Cubs, and continue his stellar May when he takes the mound.

After going 2-2 with a 4.33 ERA in five April starts, Young is 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA in four starts this month, holding opponents to a .185 batting average.

The 6-10 right-hander gave up one run, five hits and struck out five in 6 2-3 innings of an 8-1 win over Seattle on Friday.

Young has also been outstanding at Petco Park, going 2-1 with a 0.44 ERA, allowing just one earned run over 20 1-3 innings in those games.

In two starts against the Cubs last season, he went 1-0, yielding six runs in 13 2-3 innings.

Chicago dropped its season-high fourth straight road game on Wednesday, scoring one run for just the third time in that stretch. Though the Cubs went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday, they are batting a paltry .120 (6-for-50) in such situations during their losing skid in San Diego.

“It just happens too many times, we leave them on,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “We have chances to do things with baseball games and we just don’t.”

Jason Marquis (5-1, 2.76) tries to get back on track after a couple of rough outings when he starts for the Cubs.

Marquis opened the season going 5-1 with a 1.70 ERA in his first seven starts, but has given up nine runs in 11 innings in his last two starts, raising his ERA more than a run.

The right-hander yielded a season-high five runs and seven hits in six innings of an 11-6 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, but was not a factor in the decision.

Marquis had a terrific start against the Padres on April 16, allowing a run and three hits in six innings of a 12-4 victory. He is 3-2 with a 3.99 ERA in six games—five starts—lifetime against San Diego.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Marquis CIN vs. C. Young KC
12-9 Record 9-8
4.60 ERA 3.12
109 K 167
76 BB 72
1.39 WHIP 1.10


Thursday, May 24