CHICAGO -- Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin didn't waste time getting to work on Tuesday as he headed to the batting cage to work with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.
Colvin was recalled by the club after Alfonso Soriano was placed on the disabled list with a strained left quad. Colvin began the year with the big league team, but was sent down to Triple-A Iowa after batting .113 in 28 games. In 12 games at Iowa, he was hitting .260 in 12 games with five doubles, two triples and one home run.
"It was good to square some balls up and be like, 'Oh yeah, that's what it feels like' and just get those at-bats," Colvin said. "[Iowa manager Bill] Dancy was awesome down there. I was batting second every day and moved around in the outfield and played a little first base.
"It was good to be in the lineup and get the timing back and to the point where I felt I could square some balls up," he said.
Colvin may play some in center field as Cubs manager Mike Quade juggles what's left of his outfield. Two-thirds of the Opening Day mix is gone with Soriano sidelined and Marlon Byrd on the disabled list after being hit in the face by a pitch on May 21 in Boston.
"When these things happen, the kids we were counting on down the road are going to get opportunities," Quade said.
Blake DeWitt started in left field on Tuesday, but Quade said Colvin will get more playing time.
"I think Colvin got wrapped up a little bit early in the season probably trying to do too much and [thinking] 'I've got a chance to do this,'" Quade said. "Just play your game. Just do what you do. The minute you try to do more than that, you're 50 percent of what you should be.
"I think he learned his lesson there and he'll come back and be better," Quade said of the young outfielder. "He'll get the opportunity to prove me right or wrong."Colvin pinch-hit in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 7-3 loss, laying down a sacrifice bunt with a runner on second. Astros pitcher Jordan Lyles' throwing error on the play allowed Brad Snyder to tie the game at 1. Colvin then grounded out in the ninth to end the game.
Pena, Ramirez flip-flop No. 4-5 spots
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Mike Quade tweaked the lineup Tuesday and moved Carlos Pena into the No. 4 spot for the third time this season. That meant Aramis Ramirez was batting fifth for the first time since July 15, 2010.
The move seemed to get Ramirez on track. He had three hits in his last 21 at-bats, but went 3-for-4 in the Cubs' 7-3 loss to the Astros.
"I still see 'Ramy' as a power guy in the middle of this thing," said Quade, who is looking for productive at-bats. "We'll take a double with the bases loaded -- just quality at-bats in the middle of the lineup.
"Sure, I'd like to see some balls on Waveland or Sheffield [Avenues], but I'd rather see quality at-bats and guys drive in runs," he said. "Even a quality single, whatever the case might be."
The Cubs rank second in the National League in batting average, but they're hitting .235 with runners in scoring position. Ramirez was batting .289 overall, and hit an RBI double with two outs in the eighth on Tuesday, the second time he's delivered in 24 at-bats with two outs and runners in scoring position.
Snyder a first-time father
CHICAGO -- Brad Snyder made it home just in time.
Snyder was called up to the Cubs prior to Sunday's game against the Pirates and joined the team at Wrigley Field. He got a call at 6 a.m. CT on Monday that his wife, Susan, had gone into labor. It was perfect timing. Snyder was 141 miles from their home in Ft. Wayne, Ind. If he was still with the Triple-A Iowa team, he would've been in Round Rock, Texas.
The hardest part was finding a rental car agency open on Memorial Day, but once he did, he headed east.
"I got there in time," he said. "The baby came out at 3:45 [p.m. ET]."
New son Gavin Michael, who checked in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces, and Susan are doing fine.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.