HOUSTON -- Right fielder Hunter Pence was out of the starting lineup for Friday's game against the Cubs, marking his first time out of the lineup since May 27. Cory Sullivan made his fourth start of the season and second in right field.
While Pence wasn't in the lineup, manager Brad Mills didn't want to call it an off-day.
"He's played 25 days in a row, and I told him, 'Don't shut it down, because you're going to get in this one somewhere probably,'" Mills said. "We're probably going to need to have him. He's not starting, but at the same time, he's probably going to get into that thing and hopefully contribute near the end."
Also, Geoff Blum got his third start at shortstop Friday despite a .143 (5-for-35) career average against Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano. Regular starting shortstop Tommy Manzella has not faced Zambrano in his career.
"The numbers don't really match up that well, but I thought it was a good time to at least let [Manzella] watch a few innings," Mills said. "He'll get in there, too."