With an agreement in place to sell the team, the San Diego Padres will get back to work on the field tonight in hopes of posting another series win in the middle portion of a three-game set versus the Chicago Cubs.
John Moores has been the majority owner of the Padres since 1995 and signed an agreement to sell the ballclub to a local group. Baseball owners, of course, have to approve the deal. According to the Padres' website, the price of the club is $800 million with a 21 percent stake in FOX Sports San Diego.
"It's been a long time coming," Moores said on the team's site. "It's on the agenda for the August meeting, and I'm optimistic that Commissioner [Bud] Selig and the other 29 owners will approve it."
The Padres are going through a rough season at 47-64, but have won three of their last four games, including a 2-0 victory over the Cubs in Monday's series opener. Five San Diego pitchers contributed to the five-hitter, as Eric Stults posted the win by keeping the Cubs off the scoreboard in 5 1/3 innings. Stults allowed the five hits, struck out five and walked two batters.
"Stults did a real good job for us on just three days' rest," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "After the first inning, where his pitch count was in the high 20's, he got real efficient and did great."
Brad Brach, Dale Thayer, Luke Gregerson and Huston Street kept Chicago hitless the rest of the way, with Street picking up his 19th save in the ninth. Street last allowed a run on June 17 at Oakland and is riding a 19 1/3 scoreless- innings streak over his previous 20 appearances. He is a perfect 19-for-19 in save situations this year.
Yonder Alonso and Everth Cabrera knocked in the runs for San Diego, which took two of three matchups with the New York Mets over the weekend and has won eight of the past 10 home games. Alonso has eight doubles, two homers, nine RBI and six runs scored in his last 11 contests.
Ross Ohlendorf gets the call for the Friars tonight and he has dropped back- to-back trips to the hill. In a 9-4 loss at Cincinnati last Thursday, he lasted only 1 2/3 innings and gave up six runs and six hits to fall to 3-2 in 10 games (6 starts) this season.
Ohlendorf, who turns 30 on Wednesday, is 1-0 with a 3.00 earned run average in five career starts against the Cubs.
Chicago is mired in a six-game losing streak -- its longest since a 12-game slide from May 15-27 this season.
In last night's loss at Petco park, Travis Wood was decent through six innings and yielded both runs and five hits.
"Today was another grind, was behind a lot of hitters...defense made some great plays behind me, we just came up a bit short tonight," Wood said.
Welington Castillo had two of his club's five hits in defeat. The Cubs have still posted a 19-16 record in their last 35 games, starting June 25, but are only 8-12 in 20 games against the NL West this season.
Alfonso Soriano had a hit last night and needs nine RBI for 1,000 in his career. He also is one home run shy of having at least 20 for the 11th year in a row, which would allow him to join Hall of Famer Andre Dawson as the only players to hit 20 or more homers in each of their first six seasons as a Cub.
The lanky slugger has gone deep 19 times since mid-May.
The Cubs, who were swept in three games at Los Angeles over the weekend to start a six-game trek, will hand the ball to Brooks Raley tonight. With starter Matt Garza banged up with an elbow issue, Raley began the season with Double-A Tennessee and was 2-2 with a 3.51 ERA in eight starts. He then moved up to Triple-A Iowa, where he compiled a 4-8 mark and a 3.62 ERA in 14 starts.
Raley, a left-hander and sixth-round pick in 2009, has the confidence of Cubs manager Dale Sveum.
"He's a guy who can pitch in and out, [throws a] cutter, two-seamer, four- seamer, nothing overpowering," Sveum said on the club's website. "He's not going to probably strike a lot of guys out. He's going to pitch to contact. His command is pretty good, his mound presence is outstanding. His breaking ball [is good], he has a plus changeup. He's a lot like Travis Wood with a breaking ball a work in progress."
Chicago swept a three-game series versus San Diego from May 28-30 at Wrigley Field and has won four of the last six meetings between the teams.