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Astros Vs. Cubs Lineups: Alfonso Soriano Hitting Cleanup Against Bud Norris

The Chicago Cubs (26-49) have struggled mightily in the 2012 MLB season, but they have a chance to dig themselves out of last place on Friday as they square off against the NL Central's second-worst team, the Houston Astros (32-44).

The Cubs will slot LF Alfonso Soriano in the cleanup slot, hitting a strong .270/.330/.486 slash. Righty SP Bud Norris takes the mound, but Soriano, who has struggled against right-handed pitching over the last few seasons, has an .822 OPS this season against righties. The Cubs are hoping he can continue that resurgence and inflate his curiously limited trade value.

Here is a look at the lineups, courtesy of MLB Daily Lineups:

Cubs Lineup

  1. David DeJesus (L) CF
  2. Starlin Castro (R) SS
  3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
  4. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF
  5. Bryan LaHair (L) RF
  6. Steve Clevenger (L) C
  7. Darwin Barney (R) 2B
  8. Luis Valbuena (L) 3B
  9. Paul Maholm (L) P

Astros Lineup

  1. Brian Bixler (R) SS
  2. Brian Bogusevic (L) RF
  3. Carlos Lee (R) 1B
  4. J.D. Martinez (R) LF
  5. Chris Snyder (R) C
  6. Chris Johnson (R) 3B
  7. Matt Downs (R) 2B
  8. Jordan Schafer (L) CF
  9. Bud Norris (R) P

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of this series, head over to Cubs blog Bleed Cubbie Blue and Astros blog Crawfish Boxes. For more from around Major League Baseball, visit Baseball Nation.