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Slumping Olt looks for jolt out of DH slot

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CHICAGO -- Mike Olt is trying to relax, and maybe being the designated hitter for one game will help.

The Cubs third baseman was the DH for Wednesday's Interleague game against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. He entered the day 2-for-23 in his last nine games. Cubs manager Rick Renteria has opted to platoon Olt with left-handed-hitting Luis Valbuena at third base, so not playing every day has been new.

"It's hard -- you could be struggling a little bit and tend to put a little more pressure on yourself, and that's what's been going on with me right now," Olt said. "I've had some talks with guys on the team and coaches and am going to go back to being relaxed. There's no excuse to say, 'Hey, I'm not playing, this is why I'm struggling.' It's more me putting too much pressure on myself. I'm going to go back to having fun."

He's been used as the designated hitter before, including Spring Training.

"I guess I used to not like it as much, and it's always something you have to get use to," Olt said. "In Spring Training, I did a good job of keeping myself focused more and staying in the game. I'm going to use what I learned in Spring Training and carry it over."

Players just want to play every day. It's that simple.

"You're mentality is always to play," Olt said. "One of the things I'm learning this season is how to adjust to different roles and making sure I can do whatever it takes to be ready for whatever role is called upon. It's still a learning process. I'm definitely getting better at it."

As for his hitting, he's not worried.

"I've been through way worse slumps than this," he said.

Olt delivered a solo home run in the fifth inning of the 8-3 loss, finishing 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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