Bryant hitless in debut as Cubs fall to Padres

Chicago, IL ( – Cubs fans did not have to wait long for star
third base prospect Kris Bryant to make his debut.

But they will have to wait another day for his first big league hit.

Bryant went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as Chicago fell to the San Diego
Padres by a 5-4 score on Friday.

The Padres benefited from a pair of home runs with Will Middlebrooks’ two-
run shot in the fourth and Wil Myers’ three-run homer in the seventh that put
San Diego up for good. Myers finished with three hits.

James Shields (2-0) gave up two runs in both the third and fifth innings and
finished with four runs — three earned — allowed on five hits and two walks
in six innings with nine strikeouts. Craig Kimbrel recorded the save despite
allowing the tying run to reach scoring position in the ninth.

While Bryant struggled, Dexter Fowler collected three hits, and Jorge Soler
and Anthony Rizzo each had RBI hits.

Cubs starter Jason Hammel was charged with four runs in 6 1/3 innings. He left
with two runners on base in the seventh, and Brian Schlitter (0-1) allowed
them both to score when he allowed Myers’ home run.

Before Myers put the Padres in front, the Cubs thought they were out of the
inning. With two outs and two runners on, Schlitter threw an 0-2 fastball to
Myers that he thought was strike three. However, it was called a ball, and
Myers crushed the next pitch over the center-field wall to put the Padres up
5-4. Derek Norris popped out to end the inning, but not before Chicago manager
Joe Maddon was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

The Cubs’ best chance to score came in the bottom half of the inning. Fowler
was on second base after hitting a ground-rule double with one out. Soler then
struck out, and San Diego opted to intentionally walk Rizzo to go after
Bryant. Dale Thayer got him to hit an inning-ending ground ball to third base.

Joaquin Benoit retired the Cubs in order in the eighth, but Fowler again got
on base against Kimbrel with two outs in the ninth. He stole second base, but
Soler grounded out to end the game.

After starting a double play in the top half of the first, Bryant got his
first at-bat in the bottom half but struck out on three pitches.

Chicago struck first in the third inning. Hammel picked up his third hit of
the young season with a double. With two strikes, Jonathan Herrera executed a
sacrifice bunt, and Shields threw the ball away trying to get the out at
first, allowing Hammel to score. Herrera later scored on a wild pitch.

Hammel issued a two-out walk in the top of the fourth, and Middlebrooks made
him pay with his opposite-field home run to tie the game.

The Cubs retook the lead in the fifth. After back-to-back singles from Herrera
and Fowler, Soler ripped a single up the middle that deflected off Shields
into center field. Herrera scored, and Fowler would score on Rizzo’s double.

Game Notes

Bryant started a pair of double plays and made a diving catch to take a hit
away from Norris … Prior to today’s 0-for-4 game, Justin Upton had hit in
all 10 of his games as a Padre … This was Maddon’s first ejection as Cubs