Bryan LaHair is 5-for-11 (.455) with a walk, homer and two RBIs in three games since the Cubs' right-fielder became an All-Star first-baseman.
Next up for him: Manager Dale Sveum has him in the lineup tonight in Atlanta for the finale of a four-game series, in a rare start against a left-hander (Mike Minor).
It's something Sveum would like to make a trend again, and something the manager thinks could have a significant impact on the lineup the second half of the season if LaHair can perform better against lefties than the 3-for-38, 21-strikeout effort the first 81 games of the season -- a stat that had turned him into a platoon player.
Sveum's ideal lineup, 2-through-5, goes Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Alfonso Soriano and LaHair.
Soriano has a track record for streakiness but still makes that middle-of-the-order work just well enough for Sveum as long as he has that lefty hitter producing reasonably well behind him.
``The last couple games he's been swinging really well,'' Sveum said. ``If you keep the lineup as stable as you possibly can and get him going against left-handers, [that's the goal] because you've got to have 3-4-5 guys consistent and doing it every night.''
LaHair's signs of bat life this week/month are especially encouraging since a general dip since April.
His month-by-month numbers:
April -- .390/.471/.780 (20 games)
May -- .253/.343/.448 (25)
June -- .231/.286/.400 (22)
July - That 5-for-11 in Atlanta
``I'm starting to get a little more comfortable,'' LaHair said Wednesday night. ``I made a few adjustments. I've kind of let the good and bad go a little bit on the mental side, and trust in my abilities, and those kind of things, and kind of let everything happen for me.''