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Sore knee gets Soriano another day off

CHICAGO -- A sore knee had Alfonso Soriano on the bench for the second time in three days as Adrian Cardenas got the start Wednesday in left field.

Soriano started just once in the series against the Atlanta Braves but he did drive in a run during that game, in the sixth inning Tuesday with a double. It was the Cubs’ only run in their 3-1 defeat.

“Yeah, his knee’s been a little bit sore and stuff,” manager Dale Sveum said. “[He will] get Thursday off so he will get two days off and be ready for the three day games on the road trip [to Milwaukee]. Just give him a little time with the knee.”

It’s been an interesting season so far for Soriano, who has yet to hit a home run but has shown improvement on defense. He has just five extra-base hits (all doubles) this season and entered play Wednesday batting .253.

“He’s played great defense,” Sveum said. “Obviously he’s lost his legs a little bit, but everything he’s supposed to catch, even some of the Web gems he’s had lately, he’s done a great job. Obviously you could use more home runs, but he’s done a good job. He’s worked his butt off and done a good job in the outfield.”

Despite a low .303 slugging percentage (Bryan LaHair leads Cubs regulars with a .771 slugging mark), Soriano’s 14 RBIs were third on the team, behind LaHair (17) and Starlin Castro (19).