CINCINNATI – It was a moment they needed after two days of ones to forget against the Reds. Kris Bryant was happy to provide it in the Cubs’ time of need on Sunday afternoon.
Staring down another deficit after two-straight losses to the Reds, who beat the Cubs by nine runs on Saturday night, the third baseman came through with the blast of the weekend to help the team salvage a split of the four-game series.
His three-run homer in the seventh inning turned a one-run deficit into a two-run lead, and his team didn’t look back in a 6-3 win at Great American Ball Park that gave them a pair of wins in the four-game series.
Bryant’s homer was his second of the month of August and was the highlight of a 2-for-5 day that gave him six hits for the series. It also gives the Cubs a 64-54 record, keeping them two games ahead of the Cardinals for first in NL Central.
The homer itself adds to an improved year for Bryant after an injury-slowed 2018 season as he now has a slash line of .292/.391/.532 with 23 homers and 58 RBI. It’s especially encouraging to see the third baseman come through with runners in scoring position, hitting his sixth homer in that situation for the year while improving his RISP to .276 in 76 at-bats.
Since July 1st, he’s hitting .304/.374/.520 with seven homer and 17 RBI, which is an encouraging sign considering Bryant’s slide in the second half of the 2018 season. Good health has led to consistency for Bryant, and on Sunday he came through when the team really needed him.
After dropping two straight games to the Reds after a win to start the series, the Cubs fell behind 3-0 with Jon Lester on the mound and the offense stalling early. Javier Baez helped the visitors breakthrough in the sixth inning with an RBI double and Tony Kemp’s groundout early in the seventh got the Cubs within one.
Bryant then came through with two runners on with his homer and Ian Happ added some insurance in the 8th inning. When the lead held up, the Cubs earned a series split, which doesn’t turn around their road woes, but certainly kept it from getting worse.