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05/25 Padres Preview: Game 51 vs. Cubs

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

After an 11-run performance on Friday, our Padres reverted back to their offensively-inept ways and dropped game 3 last night. Today they'll turn to Ian Kennedy to try to salvage a split to close out throwback weekend.

Kennedy comes into today's contest having lost two straight while posting a 6.39 ERA. His last start saw him go 6 2/3 innings allowing four runs, two of which scored following wild pitches. He hopes to be able to control the ball better today when he faces the Cubs, against whom he is 3-2 with a 6.33 ERA in eight career outings - only one of those being a quality start. He'll need to find a way to quiet the at of Luis Valbuena, who is riding an eight-game hitting streak. He's gone 13-for-30 while scoring eight times in that stretch. Kennedy will also have to watch out for Nate Schierholtz, who has hit a career 6-for-19, including two home runs, off the right-hander.

The Cubs lineup will be looking to Jason Hammel to try to get the series victory today. In Hammel's last outing on Tuesday, against the Yankees, he was struck with a line drive to his pitching hand in the first at-bat of the game. But he was able to keep pitching and limited New York to just one run in 5 2/3 innings of work. He experiences some swelling and soreness in his hand following the game, but the x-rays came out negative, so the righty will be good to go in today's finale. Hammel has pitched in 12 games (11 starts) against the Padres all-time, going 4-2 despite posting an ERA over 5. He's been much more effective at Petco Park, where he is a career 3-0 with a 2.92 ERA in four starts.

Catch the game at 1:10 PDT today. Our Padres, as usual, will be paying tribute to the military and wearing their camo jerseys as they close out the series.