Padres' Volquez tries to stay unbeaten vs. Cubs

Edinson Volquez tries to continue his mastery of the Chicago Cubs on Friday when his San Diego Padres begin a three-game series against them at Petco Park.

Volquez beat the Cubs earlier in the year and is a perfect 5-0 lifetime against them with a 2.76 ERA in seven starts.

The 30-year-old right-hander snapped a two-start losing streak on Saturday against the New York Mets, as he allowed two runs and seven hits with a pair of walks in five innings to improve to 9-10 to go along with a 5.72 ERA.

"That wasn't the most efficient outing," San Diego manager Bud Black said, "But the end result is giving up two runs."

San Diego salvaged the finale of its three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, as Ian Kennedy tossed seven strong innings in a 2-1 win.

Kennedy (2-1) gave up just four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts while Yonder Alonso drove in both runs for the Padres, who scored just four runs in the series and won for only the third time in eight tries.

"As the game went on I felt better with my curveball," said Kennedy. "The fastball started coming down and when that comes down everything else starts to work."

Chicago, meanwhile, lost its third straight game on Thursday, as it dropped a 5-4 decision to the Washington Nationals in 13 innings. Brian Bogusevic went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and Donnie Murphy added a two-run shot to cap a three-run ninth inning against Stephen Strasburg that tied the game, but the Cubs fell to 5-15 this month.

"The bottom line is we've got to win games," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "We just come up short in games like this. When you're at home, it's tough when you don't have one walk-off win at home all season."

Now the Cubs hit the road for six games and will turn to righty Edwin Jackson on Friday. Jackson lost to St. Louis on Sunday, as he allowed three runs (1 earned) and six hits in six innings to fall to 7-13 to go along with a 4.89 ERA.

While Volquez is unbeaten against the Cubs, Jackson has yet to beat the Padres, going 0-4 with a 5.68 ERA in nine games (7 starts).

Chicago split a four-game set with the Padres earlier in the year.