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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, August 24th (All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (54-74) at San Diego Padres (58-70), 8:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (7-11, 4.12) San Diego - Eric Stults (8-10, 3.70)
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs have seen nothing but right-handers of late. On Saturday, they face a lefty starter for the first time in 16 games when Eric Stults toes the rubber for the San Diego Padres in the middle test of a three-game series at Petco Park.
Stults did not get a decision on Sunday against the New York Mets, as he allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings of his team's 4-3 win. Stults is winless in his last six starts (0-3) and is 8-10 on the year with a 3.70 ERA.
"I felt better than I did in my last start in Colorado," said Stults. "It's always nice to be at home."
In five starts versus the Cubs Stults is 1-3 with a 4.56 ERA.
Getting the call for Chicago will be righty Jeff Samardzija, who went the distance to beat the Washington Nationals his last time out. Samardzija gave up a run, six hits and struck out five without walking a batter on Monday and improved to 7-11 on the year to go along with a 4.12 ERA.
Samardzija is 2-1 in five games (3 starts) versus the Padres with a 2.95 ERA.
San Diego drew first blood in this series on Friday, as Will Venable drove in three runs, including the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, to lift the Padres to an 8-6 win.
With one out in the seventh, Venable clubbed a 1-0 pitch off James Russell (1-5) over the right field wall to give the Padres the lead for good.
"Well, once again it was bad pitch selection," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum about Russell serving up the homer to Venable.
Nick Vincent (3-1) gave up a bunt single in the seventh to pick up the win while Huston Street threw a scoreless ninth to notch his 25th save.
Jedd Gyorko hit two home runs and had four RBI for the Padres, who rebounded from an early 6-0 hole.
"I'm getting good pitches and putting good swings on it," said Gyorko. "It's about what it comes down to. I'm starting to find my swing, a little bit back to how it was a little bit before I got hurt."
Nate Schierholtz hit a three-run home run while Brian Bogusevic drove in two runs for the Cubs, who have lost four straight and 10 of their last 12 games.
Chicago split a four-game set with the Padres earlier in the year.
08/24 10:27:32 ET