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Valbuena plays catch, available off bench in finale

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WASHINGTON -- Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena was able to play catch and hit in the batting cage on Sunday, one day after spraining the little finger on his right hand sliding into third base.

Valbuena was not in the lineup against Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez, but he was available to pinch-hit, manager Dale Sveum said. Valbuena was not expected to go on the disabled list.

With one out in the fifth Saturday, Valbuena doubled to right but was tagged sliding into third trying to stretch his hit and jammed his hand on the bag.

X-rays showed no fracture, and Valbuena received treatment. He entered Sunday batting .272 with five home runs and 13 RBIs this season.

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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