Not too much has gone right for the San Diego Padres, but they have been playing well at home lately.
The Padres would appear to have a chance to add to that recent success during a series against the slumping Chicago Cubs that begins Monday night.
San Diego (46-64) is poised for its fourth losing season in five years but has won seven of nine games at Petco Park. The Padres took two of three from the New York Mets after a 7-3 victory Sunday.
Yonder Alonso, Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin each homered in that win. Alonso is batting .390 with two homers and eight RBIs over his last 10 games, and Headley is hitting .357 with three home runs and nine RBIs over his last eight.
"We felt like (during a 6-2 loss Saturday) we weren't aggressive, we were too passive," Alonso said. "(Sunday) we were able to be a little more aggressive."
The Padres have a chance to maintain that attitude during a matchup with the struggling Travis Wood (4-7, 4.90 ERA). The left-hander is 0-4 with a 10.45 ERA over his last four starts but had one of his better outings Wednesday against Pittsburgh, giving up two runs and three hits over five innings of an 8-4 loss.
"I took a stride today," he said. "I felt I like I kept them off balance, was able to get some outs and keep our team in the ballgame."
Wood will seek his first win in four starts against the Padres while helping the Cubs end a five-game losing streak. Chicago (43-63) failed to hold on to a pair of one-run leads before losing 7-6 to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
That game marked the major league debuts of two of the team's top prospects. Brett Jackson had two hits, and Josh Vitters flew out in a pinch-hit appearance.
"It's nice to get some guys in the lineup now that are going to develop at the big league level, so we can see what we've got," manager Dale Sveum said.
Another one of the rebuilding club's promising young players, Anthony Rizzo, hit a tying solo home run in the ninth and drove in three runs.
The first baseman, batting .310 with nine homers and 23 RBIs in 33 games, was acquired from San Diego in January in a four-player deal that sent pitcher Andrew Cashner to the Padres. Rizzo hit .141 in 49 games with San Diego in 2011.
Rizzo and his teammates will face Eric Stults (1-2, 3.19) in Monday's opener of this three-game series.
Stults, making his first start since June 3, endured a stint on the disabled list for a strained lat and made his last four appearances from the bullpen. The left-hander is replacing Kip Wells, who was designated for assignment Friday.
Stults has made five starts this season, including one for the Chicago White Sox on May 7. He was acquired off waivers by the Padres 10 days later.
The left-hander is 0-3 with a 7.24 ERA in three career starts versus the Cubs, including a 5-3 loss at Wrigley Field on May 29. Stults gave up four runs over 6 1-3 innings during part of a three-game sweep for Chicago.