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Baez back in Cubs’ lineup in finale vs. Braves

Shortstop Javy Baez batted fifth in Thursday’s series finale against Atlanta.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

ATLANTA — Javy Baez was back for the series finale Thursday against the Braves, playing shortstop and batting fifth after missing the last three games with tightness in his left hamstring.

Baez had started to find a groove at the plate before the injury, hitting .300 with three home runs in his previous seven games. He went 1-for-4 with a triple and a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs scuffled the last two games and haven’t been able to generate much offense, so Baez was a welcome addition to manager David Ross’ lineup.

“I’ve been really bored,” Baez said with a chuckle. “Obviously, watching the game and learning from the game, but I hate being out of the lineup and just watching the game. I need to be out there with the boys, but other than that, I feel pretty good about it.

“I knew it wasn’t anything that was gonna keep me out more than 10 days. We’ve been working with the trainers since it happened, so I’m feeling really good.”

Workman DFA’d, Steele recalled

The Cubs took a flier on right-hander Brandon Workman, hoping he could return to his 2019 form after a disappointing 2020. But that experiment has come to an end as the Cubs designated Workman for assignment.

Workman struggled with his command and was hit hard, going 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in 10 games. He struck out 11 but also walked seven.

“It’s just a situation where he’s not in a place to perform the way he and we want him to perform,” Ross said. ‘‘We need to make a move and get somebody up here that is pitching a little bit better and try to see what they can do.

“That’s the worst part of this job — as a friend, a teammate, someone that I have a lot of respect for and the way that he works and the effort he put in and gave us every time he came to work. Whether he was doing good or bad, he’s the same guy and goes to the best of his ability. Those conversations are really hard.”

The team recalled left-hander Justin Steele from the alternate site in South Bend, Indiana. Steele has thrown 3⅓ scoreless innings with four strikeouts this season.

Pederson to join Cubs in Cincinnati

Outfielder Joc Pederson (left wrist tendinitis) is getting closer to making his return from the 10-day injured list.

Pederson, 28, has been getting at-bats in South Bend for a few days.

Ross said he would join the team in Cincinnati as he continues to work back from the injury. Pederson had a slash line of .137/.262/.235 with one home run and four RBI.