The Chicago Cubs are in position to win their first road series in nearly two months. It would come at the expense of the San Diego Padres, who continue to struggle at home.
With Kyle Hendricks aiming for a second straight strong start, the Cubs can take three of four at San Diego on Monday night.
Chicago is 11-16 on the road after taking two of the first three. The Cubs rebounded from being two-hit in Saturday's 6-0 loss by cranking out 11 during a 7-1 victory on Sunday.
"Good at-bats up and down the lineup," Chicago manager David Ross said. "A lot of good things about the offense."
The Cubs haven't won consecutive road games since a four-game run April 16-19 -- part of a 5-1 trip versus the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A's. While looking to continue that offensive surge, Chicago aims for another strong starting performance after Jameson Taillon, Drew Smyly and Marcus Stroman combined for a 2.08 ERA in this series.
Hendricks (0-1, 3.86 ERA) returned from a shoulder injury and allowed five runs -- three earned -- with six hits in 4 1/3 innings against the New York Mets on May 25. It was his first start since last July 5. Then on Tuesday, the right-hander yielded six more hits and three walks, but only one run in five innings of a 2-1 home victory over Tampa Bay.
"I felt much more like myself," Hendricks said. "It tells me that I can just do what I do. Get back to being myself again."
Hendricks has been very good against the Padres, going 8-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 13 starts. That said, Juan Soto and Manny Machado are a combined 9-for-24 (.375) versus Hendricks. However, Fernando Tatis Jr. is 1-for-6 against him.
While Tatis is 8-for-17 with eight RBIs in June, Machado is 1-for-11 in this series while returning from missing a little more than two weeks with a hand injury. San Diego had 10 hits during Saturday's 6-0 victory, but nine, with two runs, in the other two of the set, while dropping to 13-17 at home.
Meanwhile, fellow Padres star Xander Bogaerts sat Sunday and is day-to-day with a wrist issue.
"I probably haven't played this long with it," Bogaerts said of an injury that's bothered him since May.
"I felt like I want to go out there, and I want to be there."
San Diego's scheduled starter, Blake Snell (1-6, 4.50), last pitched at home against Boston on May 19. He allowed a season-high six runs in four innings.
However, the left-hander has yielded just one run in 11 innings over the two outings that followed. On Wednesday, Snell yielded three hits and three walks, while also striking out seven, over six scoreless innings and was in position for the win at Miami, but the Marlins scored twice in the ninth for a 2-1 victory.
On April 25 in Chicago, Snell allowed four hits in five innings against the Cubs, but one was a two-run homer to Yan Gomes in the 6-0 loss. He also walked five.
For his career, Snell is 1-1 with a 1.06 ERA in three career starts vs. the Cubs.
Gomes and Trey Mancini clubbed back-to-back homers Sunday, and are 9-for-24 versus Snell. Meanwhile, teammate Dansby Swanson is batting .379 over an eight-game stretch.
--Field Level Media