Cubs' Murphy showing burst of power at plate

Cubs' Murphy showing burst of power at plate

Cubs' Murphy showing burst of power at plate

SAN DIEGO -- Donnie Murphy is on a hot streak.

The third baseman has eight home runs since Aug. 6, the most by a National League player in that stretch. His .839 slugging percentage led the Major Leagues.

"It's one of the hotter streaks that comes around in baseball, to hit eight home runs in 16 games and have a slugging percentage of [.839]," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "You ride it out and hope it continues. All this stuff, you're evaluating for next year and our needs and things like that. I think people forget how good a defense he's played over there. Right now, he's been an exceptional two-way player."

Murphy, 30, signed with the Cubs in April, and he spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, where he batted .265 and hit 12 home runs in 89 games.

His previous home run single-season high in the Majors was six, set in 2007 over 42 games with the Athletics. How do you explain the surge?

"He's been unfortunate to have a lot of injuries," Sveum said. "Injuries don't help anything. Getting the opportunity on an everyday basis, you have a kid with bat speed who can hit the ball over the fence in right-center field right-handed, you always sit back and wonder what happens if the guy was to get 650 plate appearances playing every day. Those things will happen when they stay healthy. A lot of times they just need the opportunity to do it."

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.