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Piniella finally decides time right to go with Colvin
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/14/2010 12:04 AM

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Tyler Colvin started in right field for the Cubs Sunday night.

To hear manager Lou Piniella tell it, Colvin will be starting more and more.

Just how much more is open to question. Piniella had to do some fancy footwork when a story on AOL Fanhouse was brought to his attention. In the story, Piniella was quoted as saying Colvin "would be playing every day."

On the most recent road trip, Piniella talked with all of his players and said he was going to play whomever was getting the job done.

"What I said basically was that we're going to play him more, and we are," Piniella said. "Put it this way, he's going to play a lot more than he has been.

"We've been patient, you know? And I've said all along that when the time was right that were going to makes these types of moves, and the time is getting real right."

Colvin supplanted Kosuke Fukudome in right field Sunday night against the White Sox. Center fielder Marlon Byrd has been the Cubs' hottest hitter of late, so it will be hard to take him out.

The other option is left field, where Colvin can give Alfonso Soriano a breather.

Fukudome is in the middle of another June swoon. In April, he batted .344. In May, it was .253. So far in June, it's been .185. He is 5-for-27 with 1 triple, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts in June.

Colvin is trying to say the right things.

"He just talked to us as a group," Colvin said. "He just said he was going to put the best lineup out there. He just said, 'We want to win. You guys are doing a great job.' "

What a night: The stirring Blackhawks pregame ceremony coupled with Ted Lilly's near no-hitter made for an electric atmosphere at Wrigley Field.

"It was wonderful," Lou Piniella said. "With the Hawks here, they got their due here at Wrigley. It made it very exciting for the fans. It really got them in the mood for a baseball game, and they watched a really good game tonight.

"The White Sox won the first two games, and we really needed a win. Lilly got it done for us.

"Yeah, the Hawks deserved coming out here and being saluted by fans from the White Sox and the Cubs. It was a really nice atmosphere. It was a wonderful evening."

Streak is over: Marlon Byrd was 0-for-2 with a walk as he had his hitting streak snapped at nine games. Byrd is 20-for-39 over his last 10 games.

"He's been our best hitter, consistently all year," Lou Piniella said. "I think he had one little dry spell for a week or so, and outside of that, he's been a model of consistency."

Lilly in the field: Ted Lilly snapped a five-game losing streak as he collected his seventh straight quality start. He allowed 1 hit while walking one and hitting a career high two batters in 8 innings. Before Sunday, his career-long no-hit bid was 71/3 innings in 2002 at Seattle while with the Yankees.