MLB

Arrieta, Perdomo square off in Padres-Cubs finale

SAN DIEGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon's get-up for Wednesday's getaway day is all set. After Chicago caps its three-game series in San Diego against the Padres, Maddon will head home in style.

The Cubs had an "Anchorman" theme on their six-game, West Coast road trip and Maddon's acquisition on Tuesday is perfect.

"I finally got a leisure suit," Maddon said, "Right off the rack and it fits."

The Cubs were fitted for their World Series rings, but they've hardly played like champions.

Chicago faces the Padres for the last time this season hoping to break a season-high, five-game losing streak, including defeats in the first two games at Petco Park.

Just don't count Padres manager Andy Green among those concerned about the Cubs.

"Do I respect them? Yes," Green said. "Are they one of the best teams in baseball? Without question. Can any team go through a 50-game stretch and play .500 and still be a really competitive team at the end of the season? Absolutely. I don't look at a 50-game stretch and write them off, as good a team as they are."

Maddon scratches his head over what ails the Cubs. For example, they are among the league leaders in getting guys on base and among the worst at getting them home.

"It's the same hitters getting out there," Maddon said. "But when we get out there with runners on base, we are doing something differently. Maybe we're unlucky, but that's got to come together soon."

Still, Maddon is declining to punch the panic button.

"If there was an abject lack of any offensive prowess, maybe," he said. "But there's not. All we have to do is continue. We're not playing bad, we're just not hitting with runners in scoring position, and that has been our primary problem right now offensively.

"On the pitching side, we just have to keep the ball in the ballpark a little bit better."

The Cubs will turn to Jake Arrieta to make Wednesday's flight a happy one.

Arrieta (5-4, 4.92 ERA) has lost three of his last four outings, and that includes a Friday setback in Los Angeles. He surrendered four runs on five hits, two of them being Dodgers long balls.

"Home runs have hurt him a little bit, that's about it," Maddon said. "Overall he has thrown the ball well. The velocity is coming back up, the location of the fastball has gotten better and the curveball has been outstanding."

If only Arrieta, who is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three career starts against the Padres, can keep San Diego from flexing its muscles. Arrieta did that the last time he faced the Padres when throwing eight innings of scoreless ball in August.

"He got beat by the home run in St. Louis with two two-run homers and another one back at home," Maddon said. "Then the Dodgers got him with homers.

"It's kind of been like that team-wise, and we normally don't do that. We have been giving up more home runs, which has been very unusual. That is not what we have done the last few years."

San Diego's Wednesday starter, Luis Perdomo (0-2, 5.61 ERA), has lost his last two decisions after not earning one in a franchise-record six straight games to open the season.

Perdomo, whose eight outings have produced five quality starts, has faced the Cubs just once. In three innings, he allowed two runs, two hits and two walks while striking out three.

His work between starts is about making his fastball more effective against left-handed hitters.

"There has been a lot of work done to combat lefties and attack them in a different manner," Green said, "and we're going to continue to see if that work comes to fruition. We've seen some progress, but there are still more steps out in front of him on facing lefties."