Baek to make first Padres start vs. Cubs The Cubs currently have the best record in baseball this series should/could be embarrassing SAN FRANCISCO -- In case the Padres didn't get their fill of dominant right-handed pitching on Sunday, when they were shut out through seven innings against Tim Lincecum, they'll get another chance at an overwhelming righty on Monday, when they welcome Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs to PETCO Park for a three-game series. The pitchers the Padres are facing, however, are only half the story. Cha Seung Baek, acquired last week from the Seattle Mariners, will make his first San Diego start just two days after Josh Banks made his starting debut on Saturday. Baek, who "can throw upwards to 80 [pitches] plus if he's feeling comfortable," according to Padres manager Bud Black, will make the spot start, because Shawn Estes fractured the tip of his left thumb a few days ago. Baek's appearance will mark the beginning of San Diego's 10-game homestand against the Cubs, Mets and Dodgers. After falling a season-high 13 games out of first place in the National League West on May 19, the Padres have made up 3 1/2 games in the division race thanks in part to an ongoing stint of 20 of 23 games at home. They've won five of their last seven games and seven of their last 12. The Padres lost two of three games at Wrigley Field in mid-May, including a contest in which Zambrano threw seven innings of three-run ball. They were 5-3 against the Cubs in 2007, including a 14-inning game that tied for their second-longest contest of that season. San Diego won that game, 4-3, on a Geoff Blum RBI double. Blum, of course, is no longer on the roster. And, as Padres fans know, a 14-inning game is no longer that big of a deal. In 2008, San Diego already has been part of 22- and 18-inning games, as well as three 13-inning games. Pitching matchup SD: LHP Cha Seung Baek (1-1, 5.23 ERA) Baek, who was acquired last week from the Seattle Mariners, makes his starting debut for the Padres as a late fill-in for left-hander Estes, who fractured his left thumb after falling in the dugout tunnel at AT&T Park in San Francisco. As for Baek, who has started and pitched in relief in the past for the Mariners, he struck out the side in relief on Friday, needing just 12 pitches to do so. CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano (7-1, 2.33 ERA) Zambrano may be on a short leash. He is coming off a 130-pitch outing against the Dodgers, his second-highest total in his career and highest this season. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said they'll keep an eye on his pitch count. Big Z did not get a decision in the game, giving up one run on six hits and four walks over eight innings. He had one bad inning, and blamed that on a lack of concentration. It's not Zambrano's first tough loss like this. He threw a complete game on June 16, 2007, against the Padres and lost, 1-0, on Russell Branyan's homer in the ninth. Tidbits When Michael Barrett caught Aaron Rowand stealing second base in the fourth inning of Sunday's game, he accomplished something he hadn't previously done in almost nine months. Barrett was 0-for-10 stopping basestealers in 2008 and hadn't caught a runner since nabbing Juan Pierre on Sept. 12, 2007. ... Tadahito Iguchi is one of only two everyday second basemen (along with Tampa Bay's Akinori Iwamura) who hasn't committed an error this season. His last gaffe was 119 games ago on June 12, 2007. ... Before going 0-for-5 on Sunday, Brian Giles had reached base safely in 18 consecutive games.