Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres
- The Padres have won six of their last seven home games against the Cubs, while outscoring them 33-17 during the stretch.
- The Cubs have recorded at least 11 hits in back-to-back games for just the third time this season (also April 19-20 and April 30 -- May 2).
- The Padres are coming off a 2-0 home loss against the Twins, which marked the eighth time this season that they have been shut out. No other MLB team has been shut out more than six times this season.
- Padres infielders are combining to hit just .196 this season, which is 30 points lower than any other MLB team (Blue Jays .226).
- For the second time this season (also May 7-9), Mike Olt has driven in at least one run in three consecutive games.
- Seth Smith went 3-for-4 on Wednesday and now is batting .439 in May, putting him on pace to be just the third player in Padres franchise history (also Tony Gwynn and John Kruk) to hit .400 or better in the month of May (minimum 50 AB).
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By JEFF MEZYDLO
(AP) -- San Diego appears to be the ideal place for manager Rick Renteria, Anthony Rizzo and the rest of the Chicago Cubs to continue their recent hot streak.
Looking to win two straight on the road for the second time this season, the Cubs try to hand the Padres a season-high fifth consecutive defeat Friday night.
Rizzo hit a two-run homer against his former team and Jake Arrieta pitched six strong innings as Chicago (17-28) won 5-1 on Thursday. The victory came in Renteria's return to San Diego, where he spent a decade coaching in the Padres organization.
"It was good to see Rick on the other side," said San Diego's Dave Roberts, who managed the team while Bud Black attended his daughter's college graduation. "He seemed in good spirits."
Though the Cubs have the third-worst record in the majors and are 7-15 on the road, they've won four of five overall.
Rizzo hit .141 with a home run, nine RBIs and 46 strikeouts in 49 games for the Padres during his first major league season in 2011. Traded to the Cubs in January 2012, Rizzo went 1 for 16 in his first four games against San Diego but is batting .379 his last seven.
"His approach is pretty solid," Renteria said of Rizzo, who had two hits after going 0 for 9 in the previous three games.
Teammate Junior Lake has batted .378 with nine RBIs in his last nine contests. He's 7 for 20 (.350) in four career games at Petco Park.
The Cubs hand the ball to Edwin Jackson (3-3, 3.98 ERA), who is 0-4 with a 5.85 ERA in eight career starts against the Padres and posted a 10.97 ERA in two matchups with them in 2013.
However, the right-hander has gone 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three May starts. He allowed four hits and struck out 11 in seven innings of a 3-0 victory over Milwaukee on Saturday.
"You just think about executing pitches," Jackson told the Cubs' official website. "You just continue to work hard and continue to battle. It's a long season. You just don't want to give in."
Yonder Alonso is 6 for 12 with two doubles and a home run versus Jackson, while Jedd Gyorko is 4 for 6 with one of each against him.
Those two combined to go 1 for 8 on Thursday for the Padres (21-27), who have totaled four runs in the last three games. Alonso has gone 1 for 16 in the last four contests.
After scheduled starter Robbie Erlin was placed on the disabled list Thursday with elbow soreness, long reliever Tim Stauffer (1-0, 2.41) will make his first start since May 14, 2012. The right-hander has appeared in 12 games this season.
Stauffer, who last started against the Cubs in 2011, is 0-2 with a 2.37 ERA in three such outings. The Padres were shut out in all of those, the last two by 1-0 scores.
Rizzo and Lake are a combined 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against Stauffer.
Second in the majors with a .615 slugging percentage, the Padres' Seth Smith is 21 for 42 with two home runs and eight RBIs in his last 11 at San Diego.
He's 2 for 4 against Jackson.
Updated May 23, 2014