Padres prepare for tough homestand

Padres prepare for tough homestand

ST. LOUIS -- Get ready for the big boys.

When the Padres open a seven-game homestand on Monday against the Cubs, it will mark the first of 13 games in 14 days against teams with a combined winning percentage of .536 -- the Cubs, Cardinals, Braves and Marlins.

That could prove troubling for the Padres, who were just swept in a three-game series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis over the weekend.

After three game against the Cubs this week, the Cardinals come to PETCO Park for four games.

The Padres will send their most reliable pitcher, right-hander Kevin Correia, to the mound on Monday at PETCO Park to face the Cubs and Ted Lilly, who is making his first start since coming off the disabled list.

Correia, who is more than a run better at home (4.03 ERA) than on the road (5.11), is coming off a victory on Aug. 12 in Milwaukee where he allowed three runs in six innings. That marked Correia's 15th quality start of the season.

"I felt pretty comfortable with all my pitches. I felt my command was better than the past couple of starts," Correia said. "You go up and down that lineup [Brewers] and those are good hitters. It's tough to navigate through them, even when you have two strikes."

The Padres are coming off a 6-4 homestand against the Braves, Brewers and Mets and are an even .500 (30-30) at home this season.

Pitching matchup
SD: RHP Kevin Correia (8-9, 4.51 ERA)
Correia allowed six hits with two walks and four strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 4.51 in his previous start, though he was burned by two RBI singles after getting two strikes on the opposing hitter. It was the fourth consecutive quality start for Correia, who has allowed more than three runs just once in his past eight starts. Correia got 10 groundouts and didn't allow a home run for the sixth consecutive start.

CHC: LHP Ted Lilly (9-7, 3.59 ERA)
Lilly is expected to be activated from the disabled list for this start. The Cubs' lone All-Star, he had been sidelined because of inflammation in his shoulder. In a Minor League tuneup Wednesday for Class A Peoria, he threw 58 pitches over five scoreless innings. Lilly gave up two hits, both in the first inning, walked one and struck out two. He needed just four pitches to get through the fourth inning. This will be Lilly's first start since July 20. In that game against the Phillies, he lasted four innings, and gave up nine runs -- seven earned -- on eight hits over four innings.

Adrian Gonzalez continues to swing a hot bat for the Padres. He has hit safely in each of his last eight games, going 21-for-37 with five doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs, 11 runs scored and three walks. He has five multi-hit games over that stretch, including a six-hit game, a four hit game, two three-hit games and a two-hit game. ... Think the Padres were ready to leave St. Louis and Busch Stadium on Sunday? The Padres have lost each of their last nine contests at St. Louis and 11 of their past 12 dating back to Sept. 27, 2006. ... Padres manager Bud Black said before Sunday's game that two injured position players -- Brian Giles and Edgar Gonzalez, both who are on the DL -- will be evaluated by the Padres medical staff on Monday and could possibly be headed out on Minor League rehabilitation assignments in the next week.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• 4 San Diego

On radio
• XPRS 1090, XEMO 860 (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Padres (Cesar Carrillo, 0-1, 30.86) vs. Cubs (Ryan Dempster, 6-6, 4.23), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Padres (Mat Latos, 4-2, 4.01) vs. Cubs (Randy Wells, 9-5, 3.01), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Padres (Tim Stauffer, 1-5, 3.50) vs. Cardinals (Joel Pineiro, 11-9, 3.25), 7:05 p.m. PT

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.