Cubs aim to secure series win over Padres

( - The Chicago Cubs try to record their third straight series victory on Thursday evening as they close out a three-game set with the San Diego Padres.

The Cubs' recent run of success came in danger with a loss in Tuesday's opener, but they rebounded to record a 3-2 victory last night behind a solid season debut by starter Tsuyoshi Wada.

Wada struck out a career-high nine batters and threw 45 of his 69 pitches for strikes, though he lasted just 4 2/3 innings. He was charged with two runs -- both on a Justin Upton fourth-inning homer -- on four hits and a walk.

Hampered early on this season by a groin injury, Wada struck out the side in the first and third innings and faced the minimum in the second by getting Jedd Gyorko to ground into a double play after Yangervis Solarte singled.

"Early on, the fastball had a little giddy-up to it," Cubs catcher Miguel Montero told his club's website. "He kept the ball down. When he elevated, he was effective."

The hurler also scored a run, while Dexter Fowler, Kris Bryant and Starlin Castro all finished with an RBI as Chicago won for the seventh time in nine games.

Tyson Ross was responsible for all three runs on four hits over seven innings to absorb the loss, San Diego's sixth in nine games. Ross struck out eight and walked three.

"The key to any winning streak is good starting pitching," said Padres manager Bud Black. "It's been our variable this year. It's coming. These guys are good pitchers."

Kyle Hendricks looks to secure his first victory of the season for the Cubs when he faces the Padres for the third time in his career.

The right-hander is 1-0 against San Diego, posting a 1.38 earned run average while holding the Padres to a pair of runs over 13 innings with 13 strikeouts.

Hendricks will try to post another successful start in this matchup as he comes in 0-1 on the season with a 5.15 ERA. He has not factored into the outcome of his past three outings, including the Cubs' 11-10 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hendricks fanned seven over 5 2/3 innings, but also allowed five runs, eight hits and one walk.

The Padres haven't been able to support starter Odrisamer Despaigne with any runs over his previous two starts, but the righty has done little to help his cause on the mound.

Despaigne returned to the rotation on May 7 to make his third start, but was tagged for eight runs on 10 hits over five innings of an 11-0 setback in Arizona. He had his next turn skipped and took the hill on Friday versus Washington. The added rest did not help as Despaigne was blitzed for seven runs and another 10 hits over a mere three innings of a 10-0 defeat.

"He just couldn't get anything going," Black said of Despaigne. "He got himself in a hole and couldn't get out.

The 28-year-old is now just 2-2 on the year with a 6.75 ERA across eight total appearances on the season and will be facing the Cubs for the first time.

San Diego won two of three games at Wrigley Field in late April.