PITTSBURGH -- Xavier Nady started at first base in place of Derrek Lee and tied his career high with four hits on Tuesday. Included was a two-run homer in the third inning and a double in the fifth. Nady is a former member of the Pirates, but he said going 4-for-4 at PNC Park was no big deal.
"I couldn't care less what I do, to tell you the truth, the way we're playing," Nady said. "We need to start winning some games."
Cubs manager Lou Piniella originally had Nady back in the lineup playing in right field and batting cleanup in Wednesday night's game with the Pirates. Lee was a late scratch with a tight right hamstring, so Nady moved to first. Jeff Baker was inserted in right field.
Nady, who is still recovering from elbow surgery, is starting to feel better and could possibly be ready to spark the slumping Cubs offense.
"You get a couple hits under your belt, and you get a couple more and you start feeling better," Nady explained. "That's pretty much the approach you've got to take. Obviously, it's tough when you're not playing everyday, but you try to stay positive and just put the swings on pitches and try to get in good counts and go from there.
Piniella indicated that Nady is likely to get more playing time.
"He's playing today, that's two days in a row," Piniella said. "He's increased his throwing program with our training staff and he's gotten better. I don't think he could play every day, but certainly he can play more than he did earlier."
"It's good to be in there and get some consistent at-bats," said Nady.
Cubs need to get their bats going
PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs have been limited to exactly one or two runs in five of their past six games, including two of the past three. Chicago is now 3-23 when scoring three runs or fewer in a game and 21-7 when they score at least four runs.
"We're not doing the job right now," Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano lamented. "We got to get better and score some runs, and we're not getting the hit when we need it. We're not playing good right now."
Tuesday's 3-2 loss marked the 10th time this season the Cubs have lost a game when they allowed three runs or fewer.
"It's very tough when you got a situation to try and win some games and we've lost, and it's very frustrating," Soriano said. "We were winning for almost the whole game on Tuesday and then lost, so it's very tough."
"We stay positive," Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee stated. "You guys can write that it's tough and frustrating, but we're going to stay positive."
What is the recipe for getting the bats going?
"We just got to keep swinging," Lee offered. "Hitting is one thing you just can't say, 'Let's go do it,' and go out there and do it. You've got to work at it, and hopefully, as a group, we can start hitting the ball hard and then it's contagious."
The Cubs' tandem of Lee and Aramis Ramirez is struggling. Lee is batting .232 with six home runs and 23 RBIs. Ramirez is hitting .162 with four home runs and 20 RBIs. Lee dismissed the theory that the tandem is under too much pressure.
Santo feeling better after hospital stay
PITTSBURGH -- Cubs legend and radio analyst Ron Santo returned to Chicago on Wednesday after spending Monday night and Tuesday in a Pittsburgh hospital.
Santo felt ill after Monday afternoon's game and was feeling the effects of a very hot, muggy day at the ballpark.
Santo, 70, who suffers from diabetes, underwent a battery of tests and no major medical issues were found. He reportedly is feeling much better.
Former Major League pitcher Dave Otto joined the club on Wednesday in Pittsburgh and will fill in for Santo for the next stop on the road swing in Houston.
Manager Lou Piniella put Ryan Theriot back in the lineup at second base on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Piniella had used Mike Fontenot at second for the first two games of the series, but Fontenot went 0-for-8 against the Pirates. Austin Bibens-Dirkx allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings as the Double-A Tennessee Smokies defeated Birmingham, 3-0, on Tuesday. The former reliever has a 2.05 ERA in 10 starts.
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.