San Diego Padres (44-56) at Chicago Cubs (41-58)
Thursday, July 24 - 8:05 PM EST
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
The San Diego Padres are coming off a rare offensive outburst and look to keep it going against a pitcher they've hit hard over the years when they wrap up a three-game road series with the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. San Diego evened the set with an 8-3 win in which Tommy Medica and Yangervis Solarte were the unlikely stars at the plate. The club will attempt to continue its dominance against Chicago's Edwin Jackson, who never has beaten the Padres.
The Cubs could use a good outing from Jackson after having to go to the bullpen early in Wednesday's loss. The Padres benefited from having some fresh faces in the lineup in the middle game of the series, as the rookie Medica belted three hits and Solarte added two and scored twice in his first game since being acquired from the New York Yankees for Chase Headley. The season series is tied at three games apiece, with Thursday's contest marking the final meeting of the year.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FSN (San Diego), WGN (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres RH Tyson Ross (8-10, 2.70 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Edwin Jackson (5-10, 5.61)
With his next win, Ross will triple his previous career high. The All-Star has recorded six straight quality starts but is just 2-4 over that span despite a 1.47 ERA. The 27-year-old is making his first start versus the Cubs but pitched two scoreless innings in relief against them in 2010.
Jackson has been better at home than on the road, but his 4-3 record and 5.19 ERA in nine starts at Wrigley Field are nothing to celebrate. The 30-year-old is winless in five outings since June 20 and gave up three runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision last time out versus Arizona. Jackson fell to 0-5 with a 6.94 ERA in 11 games (nine starts) against the Padres after giving up eight runs in four frames at San Diego on May 23.
1. Cubs All-Star 1B Anthony Rizzo, a former Padres prospect, is hitting .367 with five homers during his eight-game hitting streak.
2. The Padres are 31-5 when scoring four or more runs, second-best in the majors behind Washington (46-4).
3. Chicago is 0-51 when trailing entering the ninth inning.
PREDICTION: Padres 5, Cubs 2