Chicago (21-20) at San Diego (21-22)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun May 24, 2009
  • TV: WGN, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The last time the San Diego Padres won nine consecutive games, they capped it off by sweeping a series from the Chicago Cubs at Petco Park.

Just over three years later, the Padres have a chance to match that feat and complete a three-game sweep of the struggling Cubs on Sunday.

The Padres (21-22) extended their winning streak to eight with a 3-1 victory over Chicago (21-20) on Saturday following a 4-0 win in Friday’s series opener.

San Diego is now in position to win a ninth game in a row for the first time since April 30-May 8, 2006, completing that run by sweeping the Cubs in a four-game series at Petco.

That sweep was also part of Chicago’s eight-game losing streak from May 2-9, 2006, and the team is on the verge of its longest slide since then after losing for a sixth consecutive time Saturday.

That year, the Padres swept another three-game set at Chicago from May 12-14 and went on to win the NL West, while the Cubs finished with the worst record in the league at 66-96.

The Padres’ current surge represents a significant turnaround after they lost all three games at Wrigley Field from May 12-14 to extend their slide to six games. They’ve since reversed that with sweeps of Cincinnati and San Francisco.

“We’ve definitely turned things around,” Padres starter Josh Geer(notes) said. “We owed these guys for what they did to us at their place.”

San Diego hopes Chris Young (3-2, 5.07 ERA) can keep its streak intact as he looks to build on his first victory in over a month.

The right-hander allowed one run and five hits with six strikeouts in six innings of a 2-1 win over the Giants on Tuesday. That was his first win since beating San Francisco on April 12, as he went 0-2 with a 7.34 ERA in his next six outings.

That stretch included a loss 6-4 loss at Chicago on May 13, as Young gave up six runs and six hits with four going for homers in four innings.

He’s 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA in five career starts against the Cubs.

Chicago gives the ball to Ted Lilly(notes) (5-3, 3.35) in the hope that he can halt its slide by continuing his success against San Diego.

The veteran left-hander is 5-1 with a 3.05 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 44 1-3 inning over seven career games - six starts - versus the Padres. He beat them again opposite Young on May 13, allowing three runs and eight hits while fanning seven in 6 1-3 innings.

Lilly followed that up with another solid outing Tuesday, yielding three runs and four hits in seven innings while the Cubs’ bats produced just three hits in a 3-0 loss at St. Louis.

“He gave up three runs in seven innings, and that’s very competitive and gives you a chance to win a baseball game,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella told the club’s official Web site.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Lilly LAD vs. C. Young KC
12-9 Record 4-6
3.10 ERA 5.21
151 K 50
36 BB 40
1.06 WHIP 1.45


Sunday, May 24