Cubs put hot-hitting Baker back in lineup

Cubs put hot-hitting Baker back in lineup

Cubs put hot-hitting Baker back in lineup
CHICAGO -- Jeff Baker has continued to play his way into the Cubs' lineup.

The utility man, who started Thursday's series finale against the Marlins in right field, has appeared in 10 of the Cubs' 14 games this month.

Baker is hitting .324 (24-for-74) in his last 27 games. The right-handed hitter owns similar splits against left-handers (.284 batting average) and righties (.286), and he has continued to platoon with lefty-swinging Bryan LaHair, who shifted to right field after the arrival of first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

LaHair is hitting .071 against left-handers this season.

"Probably the last two, three weeks, he's been swinging the bat a lot better than he was early, especially off left-handers, so he's been getting a lot of big hits, home runs and doing a great job off the bench," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Baker. "You want to call it a platoon or not, it basically is now. He's just swinging the bat too well not to be in the lineup."