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Scuffling Olt out of Cubs' lineup vs. Bucs

Scuffling Olt out of Cubs' lineup vs. Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Hitless over his last seven games entering Wednesday, Cubs third baseman Mike Olt did not start vs. the Pirates.

"We have to let it play itself out and make sure we do everything we can to allow him to do whatever he needs to do to put himself in a position where he's feeling good about what he's doing," manager Rick Renteria said. "By the same token, hopefully the matchups we end up giving him give him a chance to go and get himself back on track."

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Olt still leads all National League rookies with nine home runs and 24 RBIs. But he's batting .151 and riding an 0-for-18 slump.

On the other end of the stat sheet is Luis Valbuena, who hit a two-run double on Tuesday, and was batting .362 with nine doubles, two homers and eight RBIs in his last 21 games entering Wednesday. The .362 average is second best in the National League in that stretch.

"He's a guy who has balanced out our whole lineup," Renteria said. "Whether we've used him at second or third, he's been kind of a solidifying force for a lot of the infield."

The Cubs have matched up Olt primarily against left-handers, and he's made 35 starts at third, while Valbuena has started 26 games at third and 14 games at second.

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.

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