The Padres will seek their 10th win in 12 home games and their fourth in a row overall in Wednesday night's series finale against the Cubs, losers of seven straight.
Chicago (43-65) is 0-12 when visiting NL West opponents this season, including an 0-9 mark in California. The Cubs have been outscored 38-16 while batting .170 during their current seven-game overall skid.
They trailed by seven runs after four innings Tuesday, en route to a 7-4 defeat.
The Padres (48-64) have posted a 2.65 ERA over their last 11 home games, outscoring the opposition 56-35. They have a chance for their first three-game home sweep of the Cubs since May 22-24, 2009.
Clayton Richard (8-11, 4.01 ERA) will try to help his team pull off that feat. The left-hander is coming off one of his better starts of the season. He gave up one run and scattered eight hits over seven innings of Friday's 3-1 win over the New York Mets .
"It's a great sign. We've seen him better and he goes seven-plus and gives up one run," manager Bud Black told the Padres' official website. "That's where he is right now in his game: We expect those type of outings from Clayton."
Richard won his only career start against the Cubs on Aug. 18, 2010, allowing one run over 6 2-3 innings. In this matchup, he'll pitch opposite Jeff Samardzija (7-9, 4.37), who will try to bounce back from a difficult outing.
The Chicago right-hander gave up five runs over 5 1-3 innings of a 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, a significant setback after going 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA over his previous five starts.
"I've got to keep the ball down in the zone and get some clutch outs when I need them to keep the team in the game," he said. "Every start that I make is important. So I need to pitch deeper into games and be efficient."
Samardzija won his only start against the Padres on May 29, allowing three runs over seven innings and striking out eight.
It's unknown if Alfonso Soriano will be able to help him. The Cubs slugger was scratched from Tuesday's game with a sore right hand, which he suffered after he was accidentally spiked while sliding into second base Monday.
Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin is 9 for 18 with four homers and nine RBIs in five games against the Cubs this season. He hit a three-run shot in Tuesday's win, and went 3 for 3 with a home run and a double off Samardzija in May.
|July 28, 2012||Matt Garza||15-Day DL||Stress reaction, right elbow|
|July 21, 2012||Matt Garza||Day-to-Day||Left game - right triceps cramp|
|June 16, 2012||Ryan Dempster||15-Day DL||Right lat tightness|
|June 16, 2012||Ryan Dempster||15-Day DL||Right lat tightness|
|June 13, 2012||Ian Stewart||15-Day DL||Sore left wrist|
|June 02, 2012||Blake Parker||60-Day DL||Stress reaction in right elbow|
|San Diego Padres|
|July 31, 2012||Yasmani Grandal||15-Day DL||Strained oblique|
|July 28, 2012||Joe Thatcher||Day-to-Day||Sore right knee|
|July 26, 2012||Joe Thatcher||15-Day DL||Right knee tendinitis|
|July 18, 2012||Cameron Maybin||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|July 04, 2012||Andrew Cashner||15-Day DL||Strained muscle in right side|
|June 21, 2012||Anthony Bass||60-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- When Clayton Richard saw Padres manager Bud Black come out of the dugout in the ninth inning, he thought the worst.
But Black surprised Richard by leaving him in the game to complete a five-hitter and give the San Diego Padres a 2-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday and a sweep of the three-game series.
With closer Huston Street , perfect in 20 save chances this season and ready to go in the bullpen, most expected Black to lift Richard with one out and a runner on first base.
But Black said he wanted to look in his eyes, and he liked what he saw
"I told him, `You're throwing the ball great. Let's get a ground ball. This your game,"' said Black, who added he had no intention of pulling Richard.
"When he came out of the dugout, it was something I was dreading," catcher John Baker said.
This was the third time this season Richard pitched into the ninth inning before he finally got his third career complete game and his first since September 2010.
"I was hoping he wouldn't take me out," Richard said. "I'm glad to get that opportunity to finish it out. You never want to come out in that situation."
The loss was the eighth straight for the Cubs.
Richard (9-11), coming off one of his better starts of the season, held the Cubs to five singles and pitched out of trouble three times.
"He had command of the bottom of the strike zone," Baker said. "He made the Cubs react to how he was pitching."
Richard struck out five, walked one and hit a batter as the Cubs had a runner reach third base three times.
The lefty has two career shutouts.
San Diego's runs came on Will Venable 's RBI double in the second inning and Yonder Alonso 's run-scoring single in the eighth.
Chicago scored four runs - all in Tuesday night's 7-4 loss - and had 15 hits in the three-game series.
"A lot of guys are going to be cutting their teeth against some good teams," losing pitcher Jeff Samardzija said. "We know it's not going to be easy but we are also not here to make excuses."
Samardzija (7-10) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.
"I felt I managed their lineup all right," Samardzija said. "I kept the walks down. I thought all my pitches were working."
In his last start, Richard gave up one run and scattered eight hits over seven innings in Friday's 3-1 win over the New York Mets .
San Diego scored the game's first run when Chase Headley led off the second with a double and scored one out later on Venable's double.
Chris Denorfia doubled with two outs in the eighth and went to third on first baseman Anthony Rizzo 's error before Alonso blooped a single to left.
Chicago's Starlin Castro singled in the sixth to snap an 0-for-19 drought. Castro's single sent Alfonso Soriano to third after he was hit by a pitch with two outs and stole second. But Wellington Castillo grounded out to end the inning.
Samardzija struck out swinging to end the seventh inning and snapped his bat in two over his right leg.
Notes: San Diego's sweep was its first at home since taking four straight from the Marlins last August. ... The sweep was the Padres' third this season. ... The clubs evened the season series at 3-3. . The last time Chicago won the season series against San Diego was in 2005. ... Cubs manager Dale Sveum gave struggling rookie OF Brett Jackson the day off. Jackson has struck out eight times in his first 11 major-league at-bats, including four on Monday and three more on Tuesday. "I'm not surprised that he's had some strikeouts. We knew that was going to happen," Sveum said. "It basically comes down to swinging at strikes. It's not like he's swinging through anything, balls in the strike zone. Right now, he's just swinging out of the strike zone." Jackson was promoted from Triple-A Iowa on Sunday. ... Padres 1B Yonder Alonso (sore hamstring) and Cubs LF Soriano (swelling in right hand) were both back in the starting lineup after missing one game. ... Reds RHP Mike Leake (4-7, 4.51 ERA) will face Cubs RHP Chris Volstad (0-8, 7.22) to start a three-game set Thursday in Chicago. San Diego is off Thursday before opening a seven-game trip at Pittsburgh on Friday.