Active Coghlan puts stamp on Cubs' victory

Making most of chance, left fielder triples, homers, makes superb catch

Active Coghlan puts stamp on Cubs' victory

CHICAGO -- Cubs left fielder Chris Coghlan has appeared in just 36 games for the Cubs this season, and on Friday he took full advantage of one of those sparse opportunities.

Coghlan finished 2-for-3 with a triple, solo homer, walk and two runs scored in the Cubs' 6-3 win over the Pirates.

"I'm just grateful for an opportunity," Coghlan said. "Any time you get one, the goal is to -- anytime your name's called -- go in there and do something to hep the team win. So anytime you can have a day like today and help the team win, it always feels good."

Coghlan capped off his play with a tremendous running catch with one out in the seventh. Playing lefty pinch-hitter Travis Snider to pull, Coghlan ran down a slicing blooper to left and dove to rob Snider of a base hit.

"It was just a big play," he said. "I had a long way to go, ball kept tailing and I was really playing him pull side, so fortunately I was able to get to the ball."

Cubs manager Rick Renteria was also impressed with Coghlan, the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year with the Marlins. Coghlan, who posted a .321/.390/.460 slash line that season, struggled to stay healthy over the next four seasons, and his production dipped in kind.

Now with the Cubs, his numbers may not pop off the page, but Renteria likes what he's seen in Coghlan's limited playing time.

"I think that he continues to chip away and show you that he can put together good at-bats. He goes out there and plays the game, he tries to play the game the right way," Renteria said. " ... He's trying to take advantage of every opportunity he gets. He goes in there with a very calm and professional approach."

To win Rookie of the Year honors in '09, Coghlan put together a number of big performances. So where does Friday's rank?

"I don't mean this arrogantly, but I've been fortunate to have some good ones," he said. "I think for here, for the Cubs, it's probably the best one so far. Hopefully we'll have more."

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