8/19 Baker's dozen

Jeff Baker was a career .257 hitter in all or part of five Major League seasons with the Rockies when the Cubs acquired him July 2 for a Minor League pitcher. On Wednesday, he extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double in the second inning.

“You always like to believe in your abilities and your talents,” Baker said. “You believe that whether you’re hurt or not playing well, you believe you’ll get the opportunity to show what you can do.”

He was bothered earlier this year by a strained ligament in his hand that took the Rockies trainers a long time to diagnose. He doesn’t blame that for his early struggles.

“I was really frustrated and wondering what was going to happen and how the year was going to end up,” he said. “Personally, I”m ecstatic to be here and ecstatic to be playing well.”

He entered Wednesday’s game batting .343 in 30 games since he was acquired. That’s the main reason Baker is starting at second over Mike Fontenot, who was hitting .225.

“Playing for the Chicago Cubs and the talent that’s in here, that’s what it’s all about,” Baker said. “That’s when baseball is fun.”

There is one adjustment Baker has had to make. When in Colorado, he played with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is much taller than Chicago’s Ryan Theriot.

“That is one area I’ve got to get used to,” Baker said, laughing, about the height difference.

— Carrie Muskat

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