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Colvin to play first base next week

Tyler Colvin will be back at first base for the first time since his sophomore year in college. Dennis Wierzbicki/US Presswire

The Tyler Colvin experiment at first base is set to begin during the Cubs’ trip to Washington next week. After Derrek Lee was traded to Atlanta, Colvin began taking ground balls at first.

“Colvin will play at first base and some in the outfield,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Friday. “I think on the road in Washington would be a good time for him over at first to see how comfortable he is and how he looks.

“We can go from there.”

  • The Cubs continued to struggle in close games. Their 30 one-run losses are the most in baseball. Although closer Carlos Marmol lost the game on Friday, his 103 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings are the most of any reliever in baseball this year.

    Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter holds the Cubs’ reliever record in strikeouts in a season with 129.

  • Piniella constantly is asked about his last season in the dugout and how he’s handling losing.

    “What are you going to do, you take the good with the bad,” Piniella said. “It hasn’t been easy for me, but it hasn’t been easy for anybody.

    “This isn’t about me, it’s about this organization. I don’t feel bad for me, I feel bad for our fans. I’ve been at this a long time, I’ve had some success, I’ve also had some failure. For me, I care about our players, I care about the Cubs fans. I’ve got to live with the consequences one way or the other.”

  • Ryan Dempster pitched eight solid innings but watched Carlos Marmol blow it in the ninth, walking the bases loaded before yielding a triple to Rick Ankiel.

    Dempster preferred to concentrate on the positives. In particular, watching his former teammate Derrek Lee receive a standing ovation in his Braves debut. Dempster walked off the mound to take it all in.

    “I thought I respected him a lot,” Dempster said. “But then you really see how much respect you have for a guy like him.

    “I’m excited for him, he’s on a first-place team. He’s going to a really classy place as well, playing with a great bunch of guys and a great manager. He’s got a chance to go the playoffs and the World Series.”

    Lee went 0-for-4.

  • Dempster was asked if he’s concerned about the direction of the Cubs.

    “I don’t think we can worry about that,” Dempster said. “The easiest thing is to enjoy the rest of our season. I know that’s a tough thing to do when you’re sitting here 20-some games under .500 and knowing we’re not playing very well. But we have a lot of young talent here. We just have to go out there and have fun and enjoy our time here.”

  • Carlos Silva, recovering from a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, threw another side session on Friday. He’ll throw a simulated game on Sunday before the Cubs decide to where to send him on a minor-league assignment. Piniella said he’ll need at least two rehab outings before joining the Cubs staff.

  • The Cubs have no interest in former Rockies first baseman Brad Hawpe, according to a team source.