On a roll, Starlin slotted in cleanup spot

On a roll, Starlin slotted in cleanup spot

MILWAUKEE -- Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has batted second, third, fifth and sixth this season, and on Friday, he was inserted into the cleanup spot for the second time in his career.

Castro has been on a roll, hitting safely in 14 of his last 19 games, and batting .307 dating back to April 3. That's part of the reason he was hitting fourth for the first time since Aug. 18, 2012, when he did so in the second game of a doubleheader in Cincinnati.

"We're trying to split up the lefties," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of batters Anthony Rizzo, Luis Valbuena and Nate Schierholtz. "[The Brewers] do have three lefties in the bullpen, and with one less guy on the bench, we want to be able to give ourselves a chance to manuever through some of the lefty-lefty matchups by stacking, which we've been doing."

The Cubs decided to go with a 13-man pitching staff rather than add another outfielder when Justin Ruggiano went on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, injured 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.