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Piniella mixing up lineup for Cards series

Piniella mixing up lineup for Cards series

Lou Piniella is going to tweak his lineup.

With Ryan Theriot on a hot streak and Milton Bradley sidelined indefinitely, Piniella has decided to make some changes. Piniella wanted Micah Hoffpauir's bat in the lineup, but Hoffpauir misplayed two balls on Thursday. Expect to see Kosuke Fukudome in right and Reed Johnson in center on Friday as the Cubs switch to a more defensive-minded outfield.

Hoffpauir will still be one of the early birds at Busch Stadium on Friday to check out the right-field corner. He's been working with outfield coach Mike Quade at Wrigley Field almost every day.

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"That's part of a routine, especially with my game," Hoffpauir said. "[Quade] and I get after it. He wanted to work on some balls coming off the corner and off the pad. Something has to be done on an everyday basis."

He got a little help from the Wilson Co. Hoffpauir received a new outfielder's glove and a new first baseman's glove on Thursday, just in time for the six-game road trip to St. Louis and Arizona.

Theriot ranks among the National League batting leaders heading into the weekend rematch with the St. Louis Cardinals. The shortstop was hitting .365.

"Theriot is hitting the ball really well, so I need to get him in the front of the lineup," Piniella said. "We're really punching up a little more speed."

In four games in the No. 2 spot so far, Theriot was 3-for-15, and is hitting .385 (5-for-13) in the eighth spot. He's been at each position four times.

One other option Piniella is considering is dropping Fukudome to the No. 5 spot. Fukudome has hit safely in five of his last six games, and 10 of 12. He's batting .378 in that stretch. On Thursday, Fukudome batted third, but the lineup didn't produce much against the Reds and Aaron Harang, losing 7-1.

In the three-game series against the Reds, the Cubs were 5-for-25 with runners in scoring position and stranded 24. They rank 11th in offense in the National League, hitting .252.

"That's not going to get it done," Piniella said. "At the same time, you have to make the plays. Our starting pitching has been keeping us in games."

Pitching matchup
CHC: RHP Ryan Dempster (1-0, 5.00 ERA)
Dempster did not factor in the decision his last time out, when he took on the Cardinals. The Cubs eventually won, 7-5, in 11 innings, and Dempster helped keep Chicago in the game, even though he wasn't sharp early. In six innings, Dempster allowed four runs on four hits and retired nine of the final 10 hitters he faced.

STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (2-0, 3.31 ERA)
This start will put Wainwright on seven full days' rest, a decision the Cardinals chalk up to matchups -- they preferred Wainwright against the Cubs and Kyle Lohse against the Mets, rather than vice versa. Still, it should also allow Wainwright an extra bullpen session in which to get sorted out, since he still has yet to have a game in which he pitched up to his own standards.

Tidbits
Alfonso Soriano has a 10-game hitting streak. ... The Cubs took two out of three when the Cardinals visited Wrigley Field last weekend in a four-game series abbreviated to three because of rain. ... Albert Pujols is 8-for-32 (.250) lifetime against Dempster with two home runs. Skip Schumaker is 8-for-21 (.381). ... Saturday's game will be televised on FOX. Thom Brennaman and Eric Karros will handle the broadcast. ... Randy Wells, who gave up one hit over seven innings Wednesday night in a 9-1 win against Albuquerque, is now 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA. ... James Adducci has a seven-game hitting streak, and was batting .385 in that stretch. ... Tyler Colvin has posted three straight multi-hit games for Class A Daytona. ... Josh Vitters has a seven-game hitting streak and was hitting .481 in that stretch.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• CSN

On radio
• WGN 720

Up next
• Saturday: Cubs (Sean Marshall, 0-0, 4.50) at Cardinals (Mitchell Boggs, 0-0, 4.50), 3:10 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Cubs (Rich Harden, 1-1, 4.20) at Cardinals (Todd Wellemeyer, 1-1, 5.29), 1:15 p.m. CT
• Monday: Cubs (Ted Lilly, 2-1, 2.41) at Diamondbacks (Yusmeiro Petit, 0-1, 6.00), 8:40 p.m. CT

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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