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08/15/10 12:51 PM ET

Gorzelanny, Cubs look to spoil Padres' visit

Coming off their first series victory since July 23-25, the struggling Cubs will return to Wrigley Field and once again attempt to play spoiler in Monday's four-game series opener against the Padres.

The Cubs, who stole two critical games from the National League Central rival Cardinals, snapped a season-high five consecutive series losing streak with Sunday's 9-7 victory.

Looking to keep the momentum swinging in the positive direction for the Cubs will be starting pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. The left-hander, after winning four straight games to begin July, has been lackluster over his past three outings. The Cubs lost all three of Gorzelanny's recent performances, as he has posted a 5.59 ERA with an opponents' batting average of .276. Paralleling his recent trend, Gorzelanny has not been too sharp against the Padres over his career, showcasing a 1-2 record with a 4.24 ERA through three starts.

If Gorzelanny is to be successful he'll have to keep first baseman Adrian Gonzalez at bay. Although the slugger went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts against the Giants on Sunday, Padres manager Bud Black said you can never be too careful when pitching to Gonzalez.

"Pitchers are still conscious of Adrian, especially when no one is on," Black said. "What's helped is Jerry [Hairston] and Miguel [Tejada] have been getting on base. It's tough to pitch around a guy with runners on in front of him. You don't really want to put runners on in front of Gonzalez or [Ryan Ludwick]."

Opposite Gorzelanny will be Padres' right-hander Kevin Correia. Despite a final line that showed four earned runs against the Pirates in his last outing on Wednesday, Correia carried a shutout into the seventh inning. Three of Correria's four earned runs were left inherited to reliever Ernesto Frieri, tainting what was otherwise a very solid start. The 29-year old has won four of his last five decisions dating to July 18 vs. the D-Backs.

Padres: Venable doing it all
Will Venable leads the Padres with 22 stolen bases, two of which came against Giants ace Tim Lincecum on Sunday. With one steal on Wednesday night, it marked the 69th time in franchise history that a Padre has stolen 20 bags. Combined with his 10 home runs, Venable becomes just the 12th player in franchise history to record at least 20 steals and 10 home runs in a season. ... The Padres find themselves atop the NL West with a 69-47 record that ranks as the best mark in the NL. With a 33-25 record away from home, San Diego is posting the best road record in the NL. ... Closer Heath Bell was unavailable to pitch Saturday, and both Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson were unavailable on Sunday. "That's the thing we, as a staff, talk about the most -- is how to use the bullpen," Black said.

Cubs: Growing pains
Entering Monday, 15 rookies have appeared in a game for the Cubs, with nine making their big league debuts this season: catcher Wellington Castillo, infielders Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro, right-handed pitchers Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, Marcos Mateo and Brian Schlitter and left-handed pitcher James Russell. ... Sunday's win over the Cardinals slowed a streak that saw the Cubs drop seven of their last nine getaway games.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.