Hometown hero Kris Bryant doubled and homered during the Chicago Cubs’ 11-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds Saturday in Las Vegas.
Reigning National League MVP Kris Bryant returned home to Las Vegas Saturday for matchup against the Cincinnati Reds. The Chicago Cubs’ third baseman led the offense with a home run and a double in the 11-7 victory.
His blast was one of three in the inning for Chicago, who pushed across six runs in one inning.
Bryant, who started the split-squad game at first base, broke the game open in the Cubs’ six-run fifth. Following an opposite-field solo home run by Chesny Young, Bryant connected on a blast of his own to left-center, pushing the Chicago edge to 5-2.
Later in the frame, top prospect Ian Happ clubbed his fifth homer of the spring, a three-run blast that pushed his Cactus League average north of .425.
It still seems, at least to me, unlikely Happ will crack the big-league roster out of camp, but his performance has definitely changed how many people view him.
Young, meanwhile, certainly won’t be with the Cubs in St. Louis next week, but he continues to have a hot spring, as well. He tallied a pair of hits in the fifth inning alone, raising his average to .342.
In the seventh, Chicago outfielder John Andreoli was hit in the head with a pitch, but was able to leave the field under his own power. The next batter, Victor Caratini, got in on the fun, adding another home run to the Cubs’ ledger to make it 10-2.
Once again, the bullpen showed cause for concern, though. Cincinnati scored five runs between the eighth and ninth innings, thanks, in part, to the team’s 15 hits on the afternoon.
Hendricks guts his way through a start
Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendricks didn’t seem to have his best stuff. That, coupled with not getting multiple close calls from the home plate umpire, made it seem like he was laboring, at times.
Still, the reigning MLB earned run average leader tossed three scoreless innings, allowing a trio of hits, walking four. Earlier this week, Maddon named Hendricks as the team’s fifth starter, based on early season match-ups.
What Stood Out
The Chicago Cubs’ offense pounded out 17 hits, including four long-balls. To be fair, several of them were aided by the strong winds at the ballpark, but it was still a powerful performance.
Bryant, with his two hits, raised his spring average to .289 and it appears he’s starting to hit his stride just in time for next week’s regular season opener.
Chicago will go with the split-squad look again on Sunday, taking on the Reds and the San Diego Padres. Both games will start at 3:05 p.m. CT.