Despite hot hitting, Lake not in lineup for finale

Despite hot hitting, Lake not in lineup for finale

CHICAGO -- Junior Lake hit a key two-run homer on Saturday in the Cubs' 3-0 win over the Cardinals. It was one of three hits for the outfielder, who was batting 6-for-13 against St. Louis entering play Sunday.

But Lake didn't get the start Sunday against Lance Lynn. The outfielder was 1-for-3 against Lynn, which isn't much of a sample size. It's part of manager Rick Renteria's plan to use Lake in situations where he'll hopefully have success.

"We continue to chip away and make sure we give them the best opportunity to feel more and more confident," Renteria said. "I think as the confidence grows with the successes they have, it starts to eliminate over time, sitting them against certain guys."

It may have surprised some Cubs fans that Lake was sitting, but Renteria makes sure to communicate with the players.

"We talk to all our guys," he said. "He's really confident right now, really positive, and knows how we're working, so it's not a surprise. It helps talking about it and making sure they are aware of how we're moving forward."

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.