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Chicago Cubs (80-45) at San Diego Padres (53-73)
Wednesday, August 24 - 3:40 PM EST
Petco Park, San Diego, California
Less than 24 hours after becoming the first team in the major leagues to reach the 80-win plateau, the Chicago Cubs attempt to complete a sweep when they visit the San Diego Padres on Wednesday afternoon for the finale of their three-game set. Chicago, which owns a 13 1/2-game lead over St. Louis in the National League Central, posted a 5-1 triumph in the series opener and recorded a 5-3 victory Tuesday as Kris Bryant and Addison Russell each homered and drove in two runs.
Russell is riding a seven-game hitting streak and has recorded two RBIs in three straight contests and four of his last five to raise his season total to 82. Bryant has been just as hot for the Cubs, going 13-for-27 on a six-game hitting streak during which he has collected five home runs and 13 RBIs. After registering six hits in the series opener, San Diego was limited to four on Tuesday as it suffered its 11th loss in 16 contests. Travis Jankowski went 0-for-3 but drew a walk to extend his on-base streak to 22 games — the longest active run in the major leagues.
TV: 3:40 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FSN San Diego
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (11-7, 2.16 ERA) vs. Padres RH Paul Clemens (2-2, 4.82)
Hendricks settled for a no-decision at Colorado on Friday after giving up just one run and four hits in six innings. The 26-year-old Californian has lost just one of his last 11 starts, allowing fewer than two earned runs eight times in that span and fewer than four in each outing. Hendricks is 2-0 with one shutout, a 1.26 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP in four career starts against San Diego, including a no-decision May 11 in which he yielded three runs — two earned — and six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
Clemens will be making his fifth consecutive start and sixth in 10 appearances since being acquired from Miami. The 28-year-old native of South Carolina has yet to work more than five innings in seven overall starts this season and has surrendered three runs in four of his five turns with San Diego. Clemens notched the win in his only career start against Chicago on June 25 despite yielding four runs on four hits and five walks in five frames while with the Marlins.
1. Bryant's home run Tuesday was his 33rd of the year, tying him with Colorado's Nolan Arenado for the NL lead.
2. The Cubs have hit at least two homers in seven straight games, their longest streak since a six-game stretch from Sept. 13-18, 2004.
3. Chicago 1B Anthony Rizzo was hitless in five at-bats Tuesday, ending a five-game hitting streak during which he went 12-for-24.
PREDICTION: Cubs 6, Padres 2