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Ransom has a knack for first impressions

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CINCINNATI -- In Cody Ransom's first at-bat with the Yankees on Aug. 17, 2008, he hit a home run. In his first at-bat with the Cubs on Tuesday night, he connected again.

Is this a trend?

"I've had first games with eight teams, so I wouldn't call it a trend," Ransom said.

He is the first Cubs player to homer in his first at-bat with the team since Starlin Castro did so May 7, 2010, in his Major League debut. Maybe it's something at Great American Ball Park, because Castro also homered in Cincinnati.

"I was looking for a strike," Ransom said of his home run in the second inning off Tony Cingrani in a game the Cubs won, 4-2, in 10 innings. "I was looking for a good pitch, and he was getting ahead with his fastball through the first six hitters. Everybody was a little bit late and a little bit under. I was looking for a pitch and trying to get on top of it and get the head up."

Ransom also made some solid plays at third base.

"The word is he's pretty sure-gloved and armed, and can play just about anywhere," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Ransom, whom the Cubs claimed off waivers from the Padres.

Ransom has been with the team for one week before he got into a game.

"That's what batting practice is for," Ransom said. "I feel if you do your work there and take your ground balls and throw and get reads off the bat while guys are hitting, you'll be all right when you're in the game."

Was he getting antsy?

"It had been 13 days since I played yesterday between San Diego and here," he said. "Your body, it's like Spring Training all over again. Your body is kind of sore the next day."

He felt good enough to be in the starting lineup Wednesday.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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