Padres-Cubs: San Diego Win Its Eighth in a Row

Andrew GodfreyCorrespondent IMay 24, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 03:  Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the San Diego Padres bats against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 3, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The San Diego Padres may be the only team besides the Kansas City Royals to be in second place in their division with a losing record, yet they have vastly improved since a recent losing stretch.

The Padres had started well this season with a 9-3 start to the 2009 season. However, they remain second in the NL West and eight-and-a-half games behind the first-place Dodgers.

Then they hit a horrendous 4-19 stretch before their current eight-game winning streak. Ten days ago they were 13-22 and tied for last place with the Diamondbacks.

Although the Padres have a 5-16 road record, the worst in the majors, they are now 21-22 and have passed the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Giants in the standings. They can also boast a 12-5 record in one run games, the best in the majors.

The Padres have scored 159 runs this season, which is the fewest runs scored in the majors.

Adrian Gonzalez has hit 16 homers and driven in 30 runs. Sam Hairston is next in homers with five and tied for second in RBI’s with Brian Giles with 19 each.

Hairston has been a huge surprise and is hitting .325 after hitting .248 for the Padres in 2008.

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Jake Peavy leads the team in wins with four, and Chris Young is second with three wins. Young is the only starter to have a winning record.

Today, Young 3-2 will face Ted Lilly 5-3 in the series finale. The Padres then travel to play the Diamondbacks and Rockies in three game series. They will return to San Diego on June 1 to host the Phillies for a three-game series.

They should be in good shape in the standings by the time they play the Phillies. However, the Dodgers are preventing them gain much ground, having extended their lead by two games since the Manny Ramirez suspension.

The Dodgers and Padres are both 8-2 in their last 10 games.