Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant looked bad striking out in the first inning Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants, but he hit a towering homer in the fifth in his first game after coming off the disabled list.
The Cubs activated Bryant earlier in the day and plugged him into the No. 3 spot in the lineup and played him at third base.
The slugger had been on the disabled list since June 26 because of left shoulder inflammation.
With a man on in the fifth and the Cubs trailing the Giants 4-1, Bryant hit a high fastball over the center-field wall for his 10th home run of the season.
He finished the day 1-for-5 with two walks and two strikeouts as Chicago dropped the rubber game of the series 5-4 in 13 innings.
Before the game, infielder David Bote was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Bryant.
Bryant completed a two-game rehab assignment with Double-A Tennessee on Tuesday before flying to San Francisco to join the Cubs.
"I think the mission was accomplished down there," Bryant said. "I feel pretty good."
He added: "I'm sure there will be days in the future when it feels sore, but right now it feels pretty good."
When the shoulder became an issue, Bryant said extra time in the batting cage caused the soreness, but when he went on the DL he said he originally hurt it about a month before on a slide.
Bryant has been solid this season, but the former MVP struggled in June. He entered Wednesday's game batting .280 with nine homers and 36 RBIs.
The Cubs had just lost their fifth in a row when Bryant went on the DL, but they have turned it around since then with a 10-4 record.
Bryant will be a big boost as teams wonder what they need before the trade deadline.
"I don't know if all the discomfort is gone entirely," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Bryant. "It may be something he has to play with. We'll find out as we move forward."
Maddon said he "may have to be more proactive in giving him a day off," something he has been doing more with Anthony Rizzo.
"I don't know the answers but I'm prepared if we have to," Maddon said.