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Renteria abandons righty-lefty platoon vs. Cole

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Rick Renteria abandoned his righty-lefty platoon and started right-handed hitters Mike Olt and Junior Lake against Pirates righty Gerrit Cole on Thursday.

Part of the reason is the splits against Cole are identical. Left-handed and right-handed hitters have both hit .251 against Cole through his career entering Thursday.

Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Rick Renteria abandoned his righty-lefty platoon and started right-handed hitters Mike Olt and Junior Lake against Pirates righty Gerrit Cole on Thursday.

Part of the reason is the splits against Cole are identical. Left-handed and right-handed hitters have both hit .251 against Cole through his career entering Thursday.

Full Game Coverage

"These are two young players who we're going to try to get them as much playing time as we can," Renteria said of Olt and Lake. "We're trying to find spots that can give them an opportunity to gain some confidence.

"Everybody on the squad, everybody, from [Darwin] Barney to [Ryan] Sweeney to [Nate] Schierholtz, every one of those guys has been working real hard and they all want to be in the lineup," Renteria said. "We're just trying to balance it all out and give us the best chance on a daily basis."

Sweeney and Schierholtz have started against right-handed pitchers this year, but they are batting .118 and .174 respectively, heading into Thursday's game, which Schierholtz started, batting fourth. Lake entered the game hitting .273, while Olt had two home runs and was batting .158.

The Cubs have scored 21 runs in their last three games after scoring eight runs in the first five games. What gives?

"Their approaches are solid, and they're getting good pitches to hit," Renteria said. "They're feeling a little confident now, which is good."

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

 

Chicago Cubs, Junior Lake, Mike Olt, Nate Schierholtz