After taking the first two of a three-game set, the Cubs are looking for their first sweep of San Diego since May 2009. The Padres have lost eight of nine and send Anthony Bass to the mound.
Chicago counters with righty Ryan Dempster, who is looking to snap a skid of his own. Dempster remains in search of his first win since Aug. 11, and has gone 17 starts without a victory.
It's strange that Dempster holds such a streak considering his strong start to the season. Despite being among league leaders with his 2.14 ERA, Dempster is 0-3. He held the Pirates to one run in 7 1/3 innings on Friday, yet took the loss.
Bass was roughed up by the Mets his last time out, allowing six runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. It was the second time this season he allowed six runs in a start, May 4 against Miami being the other.
Bass believed the stat line didn't tell the tale.
"I felt the best I've felt all year," Bass said afterward. "Every mistake I made, they hit. I felt on, especially after the first inning."
Overall, Bass (2-5, 3.55 ERA) has been as steady as anyone in the Padres' decimated rotation, which looks nothing like it did when the team began the season eight weeks ago, as injuries have felled four members of the starting crew.
Padres: Cashner returns to Wrigley
Padres reliever Andrew Cashner allowed a run on two hits in an inning on Tuesday, pitching for the first time against his former team.
The Padres acquired Cashner in January as part of the trade that sent first-base prospect Anthony Rizzo to Chicago. Cashner was the 19th overall Draft pick by the Cubs in 2008 and made his debut for the North Siders in 2010.
"I've got a lot of good buddies over there," Cashner said. "I miss those guys. I came up with a lot of those guys."
Cashner is 2-3 this season with a 3.63 ERA in 24 games. He has struck out 25 hitters in 22 1/3 innings.
Wednesday's game is the last in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days for the Padres, and it concludes a 10-game road trip without a day off. Thus far the Padres are 1-8 on the trip and 6-13 in the 20-game stretch.
Carlos Quentin is 4-for-8 with a homer and two RBIs with the Padres since he returned from the disabled list before Monday's game.
Cubs: Clevenger off DL
The Cubs reinstated catcher Steve Clevenger from the disabled list Tuesday and optioned fellow backstop Blake Lalli to Triple-A Iowa.
Clevenger had been out since April 26 with a strained right oblique and rib cage injury, and his return came earlier than manager Dale Sveum had expected. Sveum said Clevenger will play often while regular starter Geovany Soto remains on the DL. Koyie Hill started behind the plate on Tuesday.
"We'll ease into it here in the beginning, but he'll play quite a bit once he gets his feet underneath him and gets back into everyday shape," Sveum said.
Clevenger had 11 hits in 22 at-bats at the time of the injury.
During the Cubs' 12-game losing streak, six of the losses were by one run. They haven't won a one-run ballgame since beating the Braves, 1-0, on May 9.
Shortstop Starlin Castro has posted the most multihit games in the National League since 2011 with 77.
Chris Denorfia and Yonder Alonso, the Nos. 2 and 3 hitters in San Diego's lineup, have combined for 12 hits in 19 at-bats against Dempster.
The Cubs own a 132-90 edge all-time against the Padres at Wrigley Field.
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.