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Cubs could use DH spark from Soriano

CHICAGO -- Not that there was ever much doubt, but Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum confirmed Sunday that Alfonso Soriano will be the club’s designated hitter for the three-game series against the White Sox this week.

The only other time the Cubs used a DH this season, in a series last weekend at Minnesota, Soriano crushed the ball in the Twins’ spacious ballpark. He went 6-for-13 in three games with three home runs, a double and six RBIs.

Soriano started play Sunday with 12 home runs, tied for 10th in the National League. He stood just out of the top 10 in RBIs with 41. Most of his run production, and all of his home runs, has come in a red-hot stretch since May 15.

He has the most home runs in the National League since May 15 and has a .294 batting average, seven doubles, 24 RBIs, a .688 slugging percentage and a 1.041 OPS in that 30-game stretch. He has cooled off of late, though, with just one hit and no RBIs over his last three games.

Sveum mentioned Reed Johnson as an option to start in left field against the White Sox, but didn’t say that he would start there in all three games.

The first time the Cubs and White Sox met this season, May 18-20, the White Sox pulled off a three-game sweep by outscoring the Cubs 16-6 in the series.