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Veteran Bonifacio providing stability at leadoff

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Emilio Bonifacio has not only provided a much needed spark for the Cubs' offense, but he has made it very easy for manager Rick Renteria to fill out his lineup card.

Bonifacio has led off all seven Cubs games this season, so far providing stability at the spot that was more fluid last year. David DeJesus was the Cubs' main leadoff man in 2013 until he was traded. Others to bat No. 1 that season included Starlin Castro, Luis Valbuena, Dave Sappelt, Junior Lake, Darwin Barney and Julio Borbon.

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CHICAGO -- Emilio Bonifacio has not only provided a much needed spark for the Cubs' offense, but he has made it very easy for manager Rick Renteria to fill out his lineup card.

Bonifacio has led off all seven Cubs games this season, so far providing stability at the spot that was more fluid last year. David DeJesus was the Cubs' main leadoff man in 2013 until he was traded. Others to bat No. 1 that season included Starlin Castro, Luis Valbuena, Dave Sappelt, Junior Lake, Darwin Barney and Julio Borbon.

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"If you can have a leadoff guy who you can slot in, it's really big," Renteria said. "We've had a couple guys who have done it in the past -- Starlin has done it, and Junior has done it. 'Boni' might profile more as a typical leadoff guy."

Renteria said Lake, 24, who was promoted to the big leagues last year, is still learning, while Bonifacio, 28, has more experience at the top of the order.

"'Boni' has been around a little while, been through the ups and downs of different positions and hitting in the lineup in different positions," Renteria said. "He's got some experience that gives him some confidence and stability right now."

Bonifacio is on a record-setting pace. According to Elias, he is the first big league player in the modern era (since 1900) to record games with one hit, two hits, three hits, four hits and five hits within the team's first seven contests of a season.

Bonifacio's 17 hits through Tuesday are the most by any Cubs player over the team's first seven games of a season since 1914, according to STATS Inc.

"He had a great start, and we hope it continues," Renteria said. "His mentality is to try to get on base every single time. It's a unique skill to have, and he's using it to the best of his ability, and we're glad we have him out there as often as we can. He's a guy who will need some days off, too."

Maybe Thursday?

"We'll see how he feels," Renteria said. "We'll just ride it out."

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

Chicago Cubs, Emilio Bonifacio