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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, May 30th (All times Eastern)

San Diego Padres (17-34) at Chicago Cubs (17-32), 2:20 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Anthony Bass (2-5, 3.55) Chicago - Ryan Dempster (0-3, 2.14)

(Sports Network) - Veteran right-hander Ryan Dempster can give the Chicago Cubs a much-needed sweep while recording his first victory of the season when the visiting San Diego Padres arrive at Wrigley Field this afternoon to close out a three-game series.

The Cubs entered the series having lost 12 straight games - just two shy of a record for the venerable franchise - before reversing course with a 4-1 triumph in Monday's opener.

They made it two straight on Tuesday, when Alfonso Soriano smacked a solo homer and Darwin Barney added two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored in a 5-3 triumph.

Jeff Samardzija (5-3) fanned eight and surrendered three runs on eight hits and a walk in seven-plus innings.

In his second game as a Padre, Carlos Quentin had three hits, including a solo home run, and two runs scored.

San Diego has dropped five straight and eight of nine.

Eric Stults (1-1) allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, Dempster, who turned 35 earlier this month, has pitched to a stingy 2.14 earned run average through his initial 54 2/3 innings of 2012, but is nonetheless without a win as the Cubs have gone 1-7 in his starts.

The Canadian export has allowed two runs or less in six of eight outings and struck out at least five batters seven times, yet Chicago has been outscored, 28-18, in games that he's pitched.

He was a hard-luck 1-0 loser at Pittsburgh in his most recent start on May 25, allowing a single run on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

The loss was his second in a row after he'd had just one decision through his initial six starts.

In 22 career meetings with the Padres, he's 8-5 with two saves and a 4.36 ERA.

For San Diego, Michigan native Anthony Bass starts for the 10th straight time after opening the season with two relief appearances.

The 24-year-old debuted in the majors with a 2-0 record in 27 games -- three starts -- last season, then pitched four innings of two-hit, one-run relief against the Los Angeles Dodgers to open 2012.

He switched to starting on April 12 against Arizona and is 2-4 since, including a 6-1 loss to the Mets in New York in his last start on May 25.

In 54 1/3 innings as a starter, he's given up 49 hits, 27 runs and 21 walks while striking out 55 batters.

In one start against the Cubs as a rookie, Bass allowed a run on five hits in five innings while getting a no-decision in San Diego's 6-2 loss on Sept. 27.

05/30 10:38:12 ET