PHOENIX- Junior Lake had another big night for the Cubs, going 3-for-5 with a home run in a 10-4 loss to Arizona.
With 12 hits in his first five games, Lake has more than any Cubs player since 1916, and one more than Andy Pafko had in 1943.
“He’s playing as good as anybody can imagine for coming up after five games,” manager Dale Sveum said. “Every at-bat has been quality. He’s getting good pitches. The only pitches he’s been swinging bad at are great pitches… He’s one of them guys that look like he likes his stuff and performs better at this level.”
Sveum said he wasn’t sure if Lake would lead off again on Wednesday.
“If (David) DeJesus isn’t ready to come back, then I’ll just leave him there,” he said. “I’m not going to argue with seven hits out of the leadoff spot, and a couple homers.”
DeJesus is rehabbing in Rookie League in Mesa, Ariz., but won’t go out to one of the affiliates, as Sveum had said previously.
“Just (getting) at-bats,” Sveum said. “He’s been around long enough to know getting his bats. He’s got like 13 at-bats or something now.”
Sveum wasn’t around to see most of the game, after being ejected in third inning by plate umpire Dana DeMuth. Sveum said he didn’t like DeMuth’s reaction to Cody Ransom flipping his bat several feet into the air after a called strikeout.
“I just didn’t like the way he handled (it),” he said. “He was staring at Cody and following him.”
DeMuth may have felt Ransom was showing him up.
“I don’t know,” Sveum said. “But it was overwith. You don’t need to keep staring at my player and baiting him.”
Ransom threw his helmet later after lining out with the bases loaded, and Anthony Rizzo threw his bat after a strikeout. The Cubs weren’t in the best mood, and the game was out of hand by the end.
It was déjà vu all over again for Sveum. Last September he was tossed in a game in Washington and later said umpire Larry Vanover was “eyeballing” the Cubs dugout. On opening day he was upset with umpire Chris Guccione for taking his mask off and saying something to Jeff Samardzija, who had screamed an epitaph.
“For him to rip his mask off is not acceptable,” Sveum said that day.
Sveum was obviously trying to back up his players on all three occasions. After this dispute, however, DeMuth and Sveum were both seen laughing in the end.
“Yeah, I was,” Sveum admitted. “It was funny what he said.”
Sveum, who has been ejected four times this season, declined to say what was so funny.
The game itself turned into a laugher for the D’Backs, who knocked Travis Wood out with a three-run sixth inning and continued to knock around the Cubs’ bullpen.
Wood was making his first start of the second half, and pitched well until the sixth.
“Unfortunately, they kind of figured me out there in the sixth,” he said.