Murphy starts at third as Cubs try to get offense going

Murphy starts at third as Cubs try to get offense going

Murphy starts at third as Cubs try to get offense going

PHILADELPHIA -- The Cubs entered their series against the Phillies having not scored a run since Friday, so obviously manager Dale Sveum was looking for different ways to get something going on offense.

That is why recently called up infielder Donnie Murphy got the start at third base instead of Cody Ransom when the Cubs opened a three-game series on Tuesday night. Luis Valbuena was getting the majority of time at the hot corner, but he was placed on the disabled list with a strained right oblique over the weekend. Ransom has usually been the third baseman in Valbuena's absence and filled in Saturday and Sunday with Valbuena hurt. However, Ransom has two hits in his last 38 at-bats and is hitting .199.

Murphy, a 30-year-old who spent parts of eight seasons in the Majors, has a career average of .204 and was hitting .265 for Triple-A Iowa, but Sveum gave him a shot Tuesday. Murphy, a right-handed hitter, batted eighth against Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick, and hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat during a four-run second inning.

"We're obviously trying to find some offense in that spot right now," Sveum said. "The defense has been incredible all season from Valbuena and Ransom. Right now, obviously, Ransom has had a rough stretch since the break and we're trying to find someone who has a hot bat."

Murphy hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat and finished 1-for-4 during Tuesday's 9-8 loss.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.