ST. PETERSBURG -- Deciding that they were in need of a right-handed bat, the Cubs called up outfielder Matt Murton from Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday and optioned Eric Patterson to the Minor League team.
Murton started in left field Tuesday night in the Cubs' Interleague game against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was batting .298 with one home run and 15 RBIs in 54 games, including a .352 average against lefties. He was 7-for-49 (.143) in June.
Patterson started in left field when he was called up June 12, started Friday in Toronto, and was 2-for-8 with one RBI in the brief time.
"We hated to send Patterson down," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "He's a good young kid, we just needed a right-handed bat. We're happy to have Murton back. Let's hope he can come in here and swing the bat and help us."
Since Alfonso Soriano broke a bone in his left hand on June 11, Patterson, Reed Johnson and Mark DeRosa have all shared time in left.
What's the plan?
"I don't know what we're going to do," Piniella said about left field. "I think we'll probably match up as well as we can against the opposition. I'm not exactly sure. We've got enough people here who can get the job done, it's just a question of how we use them."
Murton said he was just hoping to contribute.
"I've been feeling pretty good, and this team has been playing good baseball. And you're going to try to help the team to keep doing what they're doing," he said.
DeRosa interrupted, and asked Murton if he was going to hit more home runs.
"Why not?" Murton said.
The right-handed hitter had eight homers in 94 games last season with the Cubs, and 13 in 144 games in 2006. He's trying to make contact, and not thinking about home runs.
"I take it for what it is, take it a day at a time," he said. "It's a long season. I feel really good. All you can do is go out and compete and let your track record speak for itself."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.