Extra bases

• Anthony Rizzo has not struck out in his last 31 at-bats. It's the second-longest active streak in the Major Leagues. Has the Cubs first baseman made some adjustments?

"All hitters are always tinkering with this and that," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday. "It might be something this day or something tomorrow and you stick with it until that runs out. Guys like that who have a little bit going on [with their swing] -- meaning the hand position and some things that aren't quite conventional -- they'll always tinker a little bit because they're uncomfortable or whatever. You change something up a little bit and it doesn't have to be drastic but do something else to get comfortable again."

Rizzo is batting .392 since April 26 with nine doubles, three homers and 16 RBIs, and has struck out eight times in that stretch. Before those 18 games, he was batting .173 with 26 K's.

"I just say keep it as simple as possible," Rizzo said. "In Miami, the first game there [April 25], I was trying to do way too much. We took it back a couple notches, a couple steps, and it's been paying off. I'm just keeping it real simple and not trying to do too much and that's what I always say and live by."

• Luis Valbuena returned to the Cubs lineup Wednesday for the first time since he sprained the little finger on his right hand sliding into third base on Saturday. The third baseman may have some tenderness on his hand, but should be fine, Sveum said.

"When we got him on waivers last year before Opening Day, he had all the intangibles of a guy who gives you good at-bats, a left-handed hitter, always reliable defensively no matter where you put him, and has the ability to hit home runs," Sveum said. "He's getting the opportunity, and basically every at-bat he has is a quality at-bat."

The Cubs claimed Valbuena off waivers before the start of the 2012 season.

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.