CHICAGO -- The idea that the last-place Cubs have nothing meaningful to play for this season has not occurred to manager Dale Sveum or his players.
"It doesn't matter if you're in a playoff race or 30 games out, you've got a game to play that day and play to win," outfielder Brian Bogusevic said.
Sveum said he has no problem getting his players motivated in this last month of the season.
"You can go on and on about reasons, but when you have the right people and guys who care every day about preparation and caring about their performance, it makes a big difference," Sveum said.
"We are in a good spot that we have guys who are trying to win jobs for next year, and have jobs and are doing the best they can. I have never really had a problem with any motivation or the way we play the game hard."
Baker plan: Scott Baker will take an important step Sunday in his comeback from elbow reconstruction surgery when he starts in a major league game for the first time since 2011.
"He is built up pretty good (in terms of rehab innings pitched)," Sveum said of Baker, who went 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA in eight rehab starts for Class A Kane County and Daytona. "Obviously he is not going to go over 100 pitches. Ninety will probably be the thing. ... It's not a necessity to do anything but just evaluate and let him pitch.
"He has done everything we have asked. He has worked hard, he is the ultimate professional. He has obviously had a lot of success at the big league level. It's not an evaluation ... as much as letting him get on the mound and letting him see himself."
The Cubs signed Baker, 31, to a one-year, $5.5 million deal in November.
Making waves: Junior Lake reached on a pinch infield single Saturday, his 56th hit since the All-Star break to lead all rookies in that category.
"He's got the raw ability," Sveum said. "People still have to get their 700 plate appearances to project anything. But he has the power and ability to obviously hit 15 home runs."
Extra innings: At 37 years, 3 months, 4 days, Chang-Yong Lim became the second-oldest pitcher since 1901 to make his major league debut with the Cubs. He gave up a hit and a walk in two-thirds of an inning Saturday. ... Bogusevic's four home runs this season have been solo shots at Wrigley. ... Anthony Rizzo is hitting .375 (18-for-48) against the Brewers this season.
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