Cubs prospect Bryant hits 2 homers in Vegas hometown game

LAS VEGAS -- Cubs third base prospect Kris Bryant got into the game late, then hit two home runs in front of his hometown Las Vegas fans to highlight Chicago's 3-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Bryant, who leads baseball with six home runs in spring training, was out of the starting lineup because of a sore right shoulder. He homered in the third inning as a pinch-hitter for designated hitter Anthony Rizzo, and homered again three innings later in the split-squad game.

Max Muncy drove in Oakland's run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

It's the second time this week Bryant hit two homers in a game. He momentarily upstaged Will Ferrell while the actor played center field for the Angels on Thursday as part of a five-game stunt.

Bryant, who went to high school in Las Vegas, became the headliner in his hometown's annual big league weekend, a two-game showcase used to attract fans to Sin City in hopes they stick around in the casinos after watching current and future stars.

Bryant, one of the best prospects in baseball, is making the case that he should star in Chicago soon.

"I was running around the bases, smiling and having a good time," Bryant told Cubs reporters after the game. Bryant has nine hits in 20 at-bats in eight games this spring after an impressive 2014 in the minors.

The 23-year-old hit .325 with 43 home runs across two levels last year, including .295 with 21 homers for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in 70 games.

"Just tip my cap to Bryant on that one," said A's starter Jesse Hahn, who allowed five hits in 5 1/3 innings in his second loss this spring. "He came off the bench cold, hadn't taken a swing all game, and I thought I located a good fastball down and away and he just went out there and got it."


Kyle Hendricks threw five perfect innings for Chicago for the win, striking out three, following up two scoreless innings earlier this week in a game against San Diego.

"I'd rather hit two home runs any day than pitch five perfect, I know that," Hendricks said.

Hendricks is currently projected as the fourth starter in a rotation led by newly acquired Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel. Travis Wood is behind Hendricks on the Cubs' depth chart, going for the last starting slot.

Hendricks had seven wins in 13 starts last year with a 2.46 ERA.


Umpire Scott Barry briefly confused how many outs there were in the sixth inning, signaling the end of the frame after Christian Villanueva struck out even though there were only two outs. Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez spoke with Barry while new Chicago pitcher Jorge De Leon started warming up for the seventh inning, and Barry later signaled for the A's to retake the field after conferring with other umpires. Junior Lake flew out to right to end the inning.


Cubs: Wood faces the Reds in Mesa, Arizona, for his third exhibition start. Wood has given up two earned runs in five innings so far this spring.

A's: Sonny Gray pitches in his second spring training game this year as Oakland, back together after the split-squad game, plays the Brewers in Maryvale, Arizona. Oakland's top starter gave up two runs in 2 1/3 innings on Tuesday.