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Chicago at San Diego

Venue: Petco Park

After a rare outburst, the San Diego Padres' offense came back to earth.

That figures to bode well for Chicago's Jason Hammel as he pitches for the first time since suffering a scare in his last outing.

The Cubs try to win their first road series of the season Sunday behind Hammel against San Diego.

The Padres (22-28) tallied 12 hits and scored their most runs of the season in Friday's 11-1 victory. However, they reverted to the form fit for baseball's lowest-scoring offense Saturday, recording three hits in a 3-2 loss. It was the sixth time San Diego, which has totaled 12 runs in its losses during a 1-5 stretch, has recorded just three hits - tied with Milwaukee and Seattle for the most games with three or fewer.

Carlos Quentin's second pinch-hit homer in his last three appearances drove in both runs in the eighth. He is 5 for 13 with four RBIs, missing the club's first 39 games with a bruised left knee, then sitting out four straight prior to Saturday with a groin injury.

"He makes us better," manager Bud Black said. "He's arguably our best offensive player each and every night he is in the game."

The Cubs (18-29), who have won five of seven but are 8-16 on the road, had reason to be alarmed in Hammel's start Tuesday against the Yankees. Brett Gardner's line drive struck his pitching hand in the game's first at-bat.

Hammel (5-2, 2.91 ERA) recovered and limited New York to a run in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-1 victory, his first win in four starts. X-rays performed on Hammel's hand were negative.

"It's just swollen," Hammel told the team's official website Wednesday. "I would assume a couple days of soreness. I think it'll be all right."

The right-hander is 4-2 despite a 5.03 ERA in 12 games - 11 starts - against the Padres, though he's 3-0 with a 2.92 ERA in four starts at Petco Park.

The Padres turn to Ian Kennedy (2-6, 3.79), who has a 6.39 ERA in losing his last two starts after going 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA in his previous four outings. He gave up four runs in 6 2-3 innings in a 5-3 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday and was charged with two wild pitches which both led to runs. His five wild pitches are tied for the third-most in the National League.

"When you are trying to throw curveballs down in the dirt, it's going to happen," said Kennedy, who is winless in six home starts with a 4.42 ERA. "I'm trying to bury it when I am ahead, I'm trying to make good pitches. It's kind of disappointing in those situations."

Kennedy is 3-2 with a 6.33 ERA in eight career outings versus Chicago, recording just one quality start. He has allowed at least one home run in each matchup.

He'll try to keep the Cubs' middle of the order quiet, as No. 3 hitter Anthony Rizzo is 2 for 19 over his last six games while cleanup hitter Starlin Castro is 0 for 17 in his last four.

However, Luis Valbuena is 13 for 30 during an eight-game hitting streak with eight runs scored and Nate Schierholtz is 6 for 19 off Kennedy with two homers.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

J. Hammel
Chi. Cubs 2014 stats San Diego
1-1 Wins-Losses 0-2
18.0 Innings Pitched 19.2
4.00 Earned Run Average 4.58
4 Walks 5
17 Strikeouts 22
1.11 WHIP 1.32

I. Kennedy
Probable Pitchers
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Chi Cubs5th NL Central6987.44218 ½ 5-5 L 1
San Diego3rd NL West7481.47714 ½ 7-3 W 4
Chi Cubs
S. CastroAnkle
J. McDonaldShoulder
J. RuggianoAnkle
R. SweeneyHamstring
San Diego
A. AlmonteAnkle
Y. AlonsoWrist
J. BenoitShoulder
B. BoyerShoulder
E. CabreraHamstring
O. DespaigneSide
R. JacksonWrist
J. JohnsonElbow
C. KellyElbow
C. LuebkeElbow
T. PattonShoulder
C. QuentinKnee
T. RossSoreness
J. WielandElbow
Series Game Log
Apr 14SDSD 5-4Thayer Brothers 
Apr 15SDCOL 3-2Nicasio Erlin 
Apr 16SDSD 4-2Cashner De La Rosa 
Apr 17SDCOL 3-1Morales Kennedy 
May 16COLCOL 3-1De La Rosa Stults 
May 17COLSD 8-5Erlin Lyles 
May 18COLCOL 8-6Masset Thayer 
Jul 7COLSD 6-1Kennedy Matzek 
Jul 8COLCOL 2-1Morales Ross 
Jul 9COLCOL 6-3Logan Benoit 
Aug 11SDSD 4-3Vincent Logan 
Aug 12SDSD 4-1Despaigne Flande 
Aug 13SDSD 5-3Kennedy Matzek 
Sep 5COLCOL 3-0Matzek Stults 
Sep 6COLCOL 7-6Masset Hahn 
Sep 7COLCOL 6-0Morales Ross 
Sep 22SD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 23SD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 24SD 9:10 PM EDT