SAN DIEGO — Rich Harden held San Diego to one hit over seven innings and the Chicago Cubs perked up offensively to beat the Padres 7-1 on Wednesday night to avoid an embarrassing sweep.
Milton Bradley and Aramis Ramirez homered for the Cubs, who had 10 hits after looking flat in losing the first two games of the series. Ramirez also had a two-run double.
The Cubs came into the night trailing the St. Louis Cardinals by six games in the NL Central. The Cubs remained five games behind Colorado in the wild-card race.
The Cubs snapped a six-game losing streak at Petco Park dating to June 4, 2008. They were swept in a three-game series in late May.
Harden (8-7) was well-rested. He had been scheduled to start Sunday, when the Cubs were rained out at home against Pittsburgh. He struck out eight.
The Padres had three of their five baserunners in the first inning yet failed to score.
Harden hit leadoff batter Everth Cabrera, who was doubled off on David Eckstein's fly to right field. Adrian Gonzalez singled and Chase Headley walked before Kevin Kouzmanoff struck out.
Harden walked Henry Blanco in the second inning, retired the Padres in order in the next three innings, then walked Eckstein in the sixth.
Harden and two relievers combined on a three-hitter. Sean Marshall allowed two hits in the ninth, including Headley's two-out RBI single.
The Cubs already led 5-0 when Bradley and Ramirez homered off reliever Luis Perdomo in the sixth. It was Bradley's ninth and Ramirez's 10th.
Bradley apparently was being heckled by some fans. After he touched home plate, he motioned toward the seats near the Cubs' dugout as if to say, "Keep yapping."
Padres rookie Mat Latos (4-3) had the shortest of his seven starts, going 3 2-3 innings and allowing five runs and five hits. He struck out five and walked four.
Latos was chased after giving up Derrek Lee's RBI double that gave the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
Koyie Hill hit an RBI single in the second. Ramirez had a two-run double and Kosuke Fukudome an RBI single in the third.
NOTES: Green Day drummer Tre Cool threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Green Day plays at San Diego State on Thursday night. ... Bill Murray sat in the first row to the left of the Cubs' dugout. ... Harden improved to 38-0 in 49 career starts when his team has scored four or more runs while he was in the game. ... Padres INF Edgar Gonzalez started a rehab assignment at Single-A Lake Elsinore on Wednesday night, going 1 for 3 with a three-run homer. He's been on the DL since suffering a concussion on July 18 when he was hit in the head with a 93-mph fastball from Colorado's Jason Hammel.