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With Matt Garza returning, Cubs peg Rodrigo Lopez for pen

Updated: July 14, 2011 11:54PM

ST. LOUIS — The Cubs are expected to use recently acquired veteran Rodrigo Lopez out of the bullpen for at least the next week or so and go with lefty Doug
Davis as the fifth starter when Matt Garza comes off the disabled list Monday.

Davis (0-4, 5.93 ERA) would start Tuesday in Cincinnati, six days after the best of his four starts for the Cubs (62/3 innings, three runs allowed).

Lopez, who made his Cubs debut Monday in a four-inning start, pitched a scoreless inning of relief Friday against the middle of the St. Louis Cardinals’ order, which suggested to Quade that he’s a better relief fit than Davis.

‘‘I just wanted to see how he would handle that,’’ Quade said. ‘‘I liked what I saw. It looks like he’s an
option either way. And I’m not sure that Dougie’s quite as flexible.’’

Garza (2-4, 3.72), who’s on the DL with a bruised elbow, opens the series in Cincinnati in his first start since the last time the Cubs played there May 17. He gave up three unearned runs over six innings in that 7-5 loss, the ‘‘hit bottom’’ game in which none of the Reds’ runs was earned.

The Cubs will watch his pitch count closely Monday.

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