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Sore back lands Cubs’ Ben Zobrist on DL

Zobrist slides into third April 14 against the Braves, the last time he played.

Cubs veteran Ben Zobrist, who hasn’t played in a week because of back tightness, was put on the 10-day disabled list Saturday, and infielder David Bote was recalled from Class AAA Iowa to take his place on the roster.

Bote’s first appearance will be his major-league debut.

Zobrist was considered available to pinch hit by Thursday, but he still was not ready to play in the field. His condition has not worsened.

The DL move was backdated the maximum-allowed three days, making Zobrist eligible to return Saturday against the Brewers at home and allowing the Cubs to avoid playing short-handed as Zobrist during the next few days of this Colorado-Cleveland road trip.

Zobrist, 36, has a history of back tightness, including a more severe bout in February that delayed the start of his spring training by weeks.

With Zobrist unavailable for the top of the batting order, the Cubs have used Albert Almora Jr. in the leadoff spot and Javy Baez second the past two games, scoring 24 combined runs in victories over the Cardinals and Rockies. Almora and Baez combined to go 11-for-22 in those games with nine runs scored.