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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, May 22nd (All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (16-28) at San Diego Padres (21-26), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jake Arrieta (0-0, 2.70) San Diego - Eric Stults (2-4, 4.50)
(SportsNetwork.com) - While the Chicago Cubs are set to begin a 10-game road trip, Thursday night's opener against the San Diego Padres may feel a bit like home for manager Rick Renteria.
Renteria's Cubs will begin a four-game set with the Padres trying to avoid a second straight loss.
Named the 53rd manager in Cubs history on Nov. 7, 2013, Renteria came to Chicago after serving the previous six seasons on San Diego's coaching staff. He was the Padres' first base coach from 2008-10 before shifting to the role of bench coach.
Renteria also served as a manager in the Padres' farm system from 2004-07.
"For me, it's another road trip," Renteria told MLB.com. "I have some really good friends there who I'll be happy to see for a quick moment to say hello, and then it's on -- it's Cubs against the Padres."
Chicago begins its swing after having a three-game win streak halted with Wednesday's 4-2 extra-inning setback to the New York Yankees.
Jeff Samardzija saw his personal winless stretch reach 16 straight starts despite giving up just four hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings. That's because the bullpen yielded a pair of runs in the ninth inning to even the score before the Yankees plated another two runs in the 13th frame.
"What can I say to him? I can say 'you did a great job. You did everything you can do.' Again, it's no consolation to him," said Renteria. "But it doesn't take away from his efforts."
Renteria will hand the ball tonight to Jake Arrieta, who will make his fourth start after opening the season on the disabled list due to right shoulder tightness.
Arrieta has yet to post a decision on the year and has lasted just four innings in his past two outings after going 5 1/3 in his season debut on May 3. In his last outing, on May 13 versus St. Louis, the right-hander gave up just one run, but had to work around four hits and five walks while fanning five and hurling 82 pitches.
"I feel bad for having the bullpen have to come in the game too early there," said Arrieta, who has a 2.70 earned run average on the season. "There's no reason they need to be in the game before the sixth or seventh inning, at least."
The 28-year-old has faced the Padres just once before and not since his rookie season with Baltimore in 2010. He took a loss to them in what was his third career appearance, giving up five earned runs over three innings.
The Padres try to avoid a fourth straight setback tonight and were shut out 2-0 by Minnesota on Wednesday. The lack of offense spoiled a solid outing from starter Tyson Ross, who gave up one run over seven innings with eight strikeouts.
"You hate to spoil one of those starts when a guy throws as well as (Ross) did," Padres third baseman Chase Headley said.
Following their fifth loss in seven games, the Padres turn to left-hander Eric Stults.
Stults is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA on the year and has just one win in his last five appearances. He is coming off a 3-1 loss to Colorado on Friday, but pitched well over 6 2/3 innings. The 34-year-old gave up two runs -- one earned -- on six hits and a walk.
Stults is 1-4 in six previous encounters with the Cubs, posting a 4.50 ERA.
The Padres won four of seven last season versus the Cubs, winning two of three at home.
05/22 10:29:11 ET