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Soler makes highly anticipated Wrigley debut

Soler makes highly anticipated Wrigley debut

CHICAGO -- Ever since Jorge Soler signed his contract with the Cubs in June 2012, he's been waiting to play at Wrigley Field. It finally happened Monday.

The 22-year-old outfielder, promoted from Triple-A Iowa on Aug. 27, went 2-for-4 with two doubles on Monday in the Cubs' 4-2 win over the Brewers.

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"I got a big ovation -- I felt really good, I felt right at home," Soler said through coach/interpreter Jose Flores.

He's made quite a first impression. In his first five games, he's 10-for-19. Soler is the first player ever with an extra-base hit and at least one RBI in his first four games and didn't get an RBI Monday to extend that streak.

However, with his second-inning double, he became just the third player ever with an extra-base hit in his first five big league games. Boston's Will Middlebrooks was the last to do so in 2012, and Soler is the first National League player since Enos Slaughter (1938).

"I'm just excited for him," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said before Monday's game. "He's done a nice job since he's been here and impacted us in a positive way. It'll be exciting for the fans here in Chicago to see him and put their eyes on him."

Soler did not start Sunday against the Cardinals, part of the Cubs' precautionary approach to the outfielder, who has dealt with leg injuries the last two seasons. In the Minor Leagues this season, Soler would play four, five days in a row, and then rest.

"Physically, he's fine and it's just a matter of making sure we continue to graduate him in terms of his playing time," Renteria said. "We're not concerned about it for the long haul."

For Soler, Monday was a chance to find his way around the Cubs clubhouse and get settled into his new home ballpark.

"Since I signed, I've been waiting for this moment," said Soler, who signed a nine-year, $30 million contract in 2012.

In the Minors, Soler was in the same lineup as the Cubs' other top prospects, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, at Iowa. How good can those three be? Soler smiled.

"It'll probably be a little dangerous," he said.

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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