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Amid rough season, Castro heating up

CHICAGO -- Starlin Castro had multihit games in three of his last four games heading into Sunday's contest against the Phillies, which is encouraging for the Cubs shortstop, who has struggled this season.

After Saturday's game, when Castro hit a tiebreaking solo home run in the sixth, he said he just wanted to "be me" and go back to the swing and approach he had his first two seasons in the Majors when he batted .300. He entered Sunday's game batting .242 this year.

"There's been a lot of [talk] about seeing more pitches and walking more and on-base percentage," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of conversations with Castro. "As much as anything, that's why I thought I'd get him back in the leadoff spot, the one spot he's most comfortable and had the most success at, and so far he's been driving the ball better and swinging the bat better in that spot."

Castro has batted everywhere but fourth this season, and was hitting .271 (16-for-59) in the leadoff spot entering Sunday. Maybe he just needs to keep it simple?

"There are hitters out there who don't need a lot of thought process," Sveum said. "They're cutters and slashers, and whether they'll be that their whole careers or adjust to be something else, [you don't know]. Sometimes, you adjust and it just doesn't work that easy."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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