Coghlan continues dominance against Leake

Improves to 8-for-8 vs. the Reds righty, makes nice play after switching to third base

Coghlan continues dominance against Leake

CHICAGO -- If there's one thing the Cubs players have learned in the first six games under manager Joe Maddon, it's be ready for anything. Just ask Chris Coghlan.

Coghlan started in left field in Monday's 7-6 win, and went 3-for-3 off the Reds' Mike Leake to raise his career average against the right-hander to 8-for-8. Coghlan hit his second home run of the season when he led off the sixth, and fell just a triple short of the cycle.

"Obviously, he has a good approach against me and is confident against me," Leake said. "It's my job to figure him out. So far, I haven't. I need to get on video and see something."

The Cubs were playing short-handed with third baseman Mike Olt bothered by a sore right wrist and Tommy La Stella unavailable because of a strained right side.

What did Maddon do? He moved Coghlan to third in the eighth when Maddon made a double switch. It's the first time Coghlan has played there since 2013 when he started eight games at third for the Marlins.

Maddon approached Coghlan during batting practice to give him a heads up.

"[Maddon] can get guys to succeed in roles they're not used to," Cubs pitcher Jon Lester said, noting it takes good communication to get players to believe they can handle last-minute switches.

Coghlan showed he can cover the corner in the 10th inning when he handled a throw from Hector Rondon and made a nice tag to get Joey Votto out at third.

"He had another really good game hitting, and ended up playing some third base," Maddon said of Coghlan. "He had an outstanding day."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.