Padres' Latos toes rubber vs. Cubs

Coming off his best start of the season, Mat Latos will try game home series with the Chicago Cubs.

Latos fell one out shy of his second career shutout on Tuesday versus the Rockies, but still got the win after giving up just one run on six hits with a season-high nine strikeouts. It was his longest outing since an eight-inning victory over the Cardinals on May 25.

"I wanted [the complete game], but it's better that we got the [win]. That's all that matters," Latos said after improving to 8-14 with a 3.60 earned run average on the season.

The right-hander has allowed three runs or less in 15 of his past 16 outings, but is only 4-6 in that span. His win last week was the 23-year-old's third in nine starts.

Latos is 1-2 with a 4.96 ERA in three career starts versus the Cubs.

Latos' win over the Rockies last week was part of a three-game sweep for the Padres, but they dropped two of three over the weekend to the Dodgers. That includes a 6-2 defeat in Sunday's rubber match.

Aaron Cunningham cracked a solo home run and Alberto Gonzalez had an RBI triple for San Diego, while Corey Luebke gave up four runs -- three earned -- over six innings.

"I was waiting for a fastball ... and I just got the barrel to it somehow," Cunningham said.

The Cubs aim to avoid a third straight defeat tonight after losing the final two games of their series with the Cardinals. Chicago dropped a 3-2 decision on Sunday despite Randy Wells going the distance for the second time this season.

Wells allowed three runs on six hits, giving up homers to Yadier Molina and Rafael Furcal.

"Today to hit the ball out of the ball park you really needed to square it up," Chicago's Carlos Pena said. "Those home runs were crushed, the one Molina hit and the one that Furcal hit. Those were well hit."

Starlin Castro and Geovany Soto each drove in a run for the Cubs, who could have third baseman Aramis Ramirez available by Tuesday. He has not played since straining his right quad last Tuesday.

Casey Coleman tries to build off his first victory in four months when he takes the hill for the Cubs.

Coleman had gone 10 straight appearances -- all Cubs' losses -- since a victory on May 19 before besting Milwaukee on Monday. The right-hander allowed just one run on tow hits and three walks in six innings of work, striking out a career-high eight batters.

"When you strike out a lot of guys it's showing you're getting ahead, throwing strikes with all your pitches," the 24-year-old said.

Coleman is 3-8 with a 6.64 ERA on the season and lost his only other start versus the Padres, giving up three runs over 4 1/3 innings on Aug. 18 of last year.

The Cubs took two of three over the Padres at home back in April and won three of four at San Diego a season ago.