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SD@HOU: Moseley throws 6 2/3 frames of one-run ball

Now that James Russell got his first Major League start out of the way, he'll face a whole new set of challenges in start No. 2 -- shaky weather and a sizzling opponent.

The second game of a three-game series between the Padres and Cubs at Wrigley Field will likely bring plenty of rain and thunderstorms along with temperatures in the 40s. And it will most definitely bring Dustin Moseley, the Padres' starter who has given up just four earned runs in 19 2/3 innings this season.

Russell is a reliever filling in as a starter as the Cubs look to temporarily deal with injuries to starters Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner. He will look to build off Chicago's dramatic extra-inning, walk-off win on Monday and bounce back from a rough first career start, when he gave up five runs (four earned) in 1 2/3 innings on April 12.

The plan is for him to be stretched out longer. But that, of course, will depend on how well he's pitching.

"You can only hope it'll go better," said Russell, who had two short relief appearances since his first start. "I'm looking forward to it."

In terms of run support, it can't get any worse for Moseley.

Despite sporting a 1.83 ERA through his first three starts, the 29-year-old right-hander is 0-3 because the Padres have given him literally zero run support. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first pitcher since Kenny Rogers in 2008 whose team was shut out in each of his first three starts of a season. Before Rogers, the last pitcher that happened to was Rudy May in 1972.

"You just have to worry about what you can control, and that's going out and doing my job," Moseley said. "I leave the rest up to the game of baseball. [The hitters] could go out and score all sorts of runs for me in the next 10 outings. It's just part of it."

The Cubs are now 5-6 since the loss of Wells and Cashner. The Padres, coming off a shutout of their own, are 2-3 on their current seven-game road trip and will continue to battle weather unlike what they're used to in San Diego.

Padres manager Bud Black said he believes that won't be a big obstacle for Moseley.

"In games like this, when you're in this game as a player, especially as a pitcher or a catcher, you don't feel the cold," he said. "You're working and you're exerting energy, keeping yourself warm. I worry least about the pitchers, really. Pitchers and catchers."

Padres: Production where you least expect it

They say the No. 8 spot in the National League is the toughest spot to hit from in baseball because the pitcher hits behind you.

Don't tell that to the Padres.

Heading into Monday, they led baseball with a .411 batting average from that spot, with the No. 2 Giants batting .310. On Monday, Jason Bartlett -- a .167 hitter coming in -- batted eighth and wound up going 2-for-4.

Perhaps all Black needs to do to get a hitter going is bat him eighth.

Cubs: Marmol keeps finishing them off

Thanks to a lights-out performance on Monday, Cubs closer Carlos Marmol has now finished the last 38 games he has appeared in dating back to July 26, which passed Randy Myers (1993-94) for the third-longest streak in Cubs history.

Marmol pitched 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball -- giving up one hit and striking out two -- to record the win, and has now gone six straight appearances without giving up a run.

After leading the Majors in games finished last year with 70, Marmol is tied for the big league lead thus far with eight.

Worth noting

The Padres took five of eight from the Cubs last season. ... Kosuke Fukudome is not expected to be with the Cubs on Tuesday, with his wife expecting a second child. Tyler Colvin, who provided the walk-off double in Monday's win, is expected to start in right field. ... Wells (strained right forearm) and Cashner (strained right rotator cuff) were to be examined Monday night by the team orthopedic specialist, with official updates expected Tuesday. Meanwhile, Wells took a positive step by playing catch. ... Padres lefty reliever Joe Thatcher (strained left shoulder) played catch on Monday. Comments