(Sports Network) – The San Diego Padres are making sure that the Chicago Cubs don’t get to play spoiler for a second straight series.
The Padres aim tonight for a third straight victory overall and second in a row at Wrigley Field, where they continue a four-game set versus the Cubs.
The Cubs took two of three from St. Louis over the weekend to knock the Cardinals out of first-place in the National League Central. The Padres, though, made sure that the Cubs didn’t get a chance to impact the standings again on Monday, as they scored the game’s first five runs en route to a 9-5 triumph.
Miguel Tejada had four of San Diego’s 15 hits, drove in two runs and also scored twice for the Padres, who have won seven of eight. They also snapped a five-game slide at Wrigley Field and increased their lead atop the NL West to four games over San Francisco.
“He hits all pitches and hits good pitching,” Padres manager Bud Black said about Tejada. “We’ve seen him work the left-field line, we’ve seen him hit the ball in the left-field gap, we’ve seen him drive the ball to right-center and we’ve seen him single to right.”
Chris Denorfia added three hits, two RBI and two runs scored for San Diego, and Kevin Correia became the fourth Padres pitcher this season to reach 10 victories after yielding just five hits over six shutout innings.
Jon Garland is also a 10-game winner, and he will look to improve on his 11-8 mark and 3.41 earned run average with the Padres this year tonight.
The right-hander has split his last four starts despite a 2.45 ERA and is coming off a victory over the Pirates on Thursday in which he threw six scoreless innings of one-hit, four-walk ball.
Garland, 30, is 3-4 with a 4.85 ERA in 10 career starts versus the Cubs, six of those starts.
Garland likely won’t have to face Derrek Lee tonight after the Chicago first baseman received an epidural shot in his back on Monday due to a bulging disk. Lee, who has homered in three straight games, sat out last night’s opener and could miss the next few days of action.
Kosuke Fukudome had three hits and drove in two runs last night, while Blake DeWitt added a two-run homer for a Cubs team that has lost four of six and 15 of 19.
Tom Gorzelanny took the loss in Monday’s opener, allowing five runs over 6 1/3 innings.
Chicago hopes to avoid an early hole tonight with Randy Wells set to take the hill. The 27-year-old is 0-3 over his last four starts and is coming off a no- decision versus the Giants on Thursday.
Wells allowed seven runs — six earned — on eight hits over five innings in that game. The righty was also touched for three homers, giving him six allowed over his four-game winless drought.
“I can’t keep putting the team in a hole like that when I go out and pitch,” said a frustrated Wells. “It’s not professional, it’s not acceptable. I just chalk it up as a bad day and move on to the next one.”
Wells is 5-10 with a 4.60 ERA this year and faces the Padres for the second time in his career tonight. That first meeting came on May 23 of last season, and he took the loss after yielding three runs over seven frames.
The Padres and Cubs are meeting for the first time since San Diego took five of nine matchups a year ago. San Diego, however, was swept in three games at Wrigley Field from May 12-14 of last year.