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Ramirez in lineup prior to rainout

Ramirez in lineup prior to rainout

CHICAGO -- For the first time in a week, Aramis Ramirez was in the starting lineup for the Cubs prior to Sunday's rainout against the Pirates.

Ramirez missed five starts with a sore left shoulder and another two with a cold and sore throat. But he collected a pinch-hit single Saturday and was ready to go Sunday. He was slated to start at third base and bat fourth, but the rain precluded his return.

"He had a good at-bat yesterday pinch-hitting, so let's hope we can keep him on the field nice and healthy and swinging the bat," manager Lou Piniella said.

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However, Ramirez's would-be return did not get the Cubs' offense back to full strength.

Shortstop Ryan Theriot was out of the lineup Sunday after he caught a stomach flu that has been going through his family. The Cubs had him stay home so he would not put his teammates at risk. Aaron Miles was to get the start in Theriot's place.

Miles is just 1-for-16 since he was activated from the disabled list Aug. 5.

"It'd be nice to see if we can get him going a little bit and swinging the bat," Piniella said. "He's going to get an opportunity [Sunday] and I wouldn't be surprised if [Monday] night we'll see him at shortstop again because Theriot was pretty beaten up by this thing."

Theriot will fly to San Diego with the team for the start of a six-game road trip but probably will not play Monday.

In other lineup notes, Mike Fontenot was scheduled to get his first start since Aug. 7 on Sunday. Jeff Baker, enjoying a 14-for-28 hot streak, has been taking most of the playing time lately at second base.

Jake Fox was supposed to get the start in left field in place of Alfonso Soriano, who has been mired in a 3-for-29 slump and hasn't homered since July 29. Piniella wanted to give him more than two full days of rest, with the team's next game being Monday night in San Diego.

"He's been hot and cold, and lately he's been on the cold side," Piniella said. "Obviously we need for him to start swinging the bat, and hopefully these few days off will help him."

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

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