7/22 Cubs 4, D-Backs 2
Junior Lake had his first four-hit night, and hit his first Major League home run, to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Lake belted a two-run shot in the fifth, and added a RBI single in the ninth to back Chris Rusin, who made a strong bid for the vacancy in the Cubs rotation. Rusin was subbing for Matt Garza, traded to the Rangers earlier in the day. The lefty would like to stay. He gave up two hits, including a bloop double that landed between Lake and shortstop Starlin Castro, and walked two over five-plus innings. Dioner Navarro, who had been matched up with Garza over his last six outings, still got the start Monday, and the catcher delivered a solo home run with one out in the second.
Lake now has nine hits in his first four career games, the most by a Cubs player since Andy Pafko did so in 1943. Lake also is the first Cubs player with a four-hit effort within his first four Major League games since Steve Lake (no relation) did so April 26, 1983, against the Padres.
“He might have found his niche right now,” Dale Sveum said of Lake, who has been playing center.
When promoted, it was thought that Lake would stay until David DeJesus returned from a shoulder injury. DeJesus is close to returning. Will the rookie stay?
“Right now, I’d be pretty stupid to say, ‘No,’” Sveum said. “Hopefully, we don’t have to send him down.”
Said Lake: “I’m going to keep working hard to make it hard on the front office. If you keep working hard, something happens.”
Rusin will stay in the rotation, filling the spot vacated by Matt Garza’s departure.
– Carrie Muskat