CINCINNATI — It was all Kris Bryant could do to keep from wincing as he talked about the pitch that hit him Tuesday night, near the same place on his left hand that he sprained in Atlanta a month ago.
Bryant, the reigning National League MVP, could joke freely through the pain of the fresh bruise only because he appeared to escape — for the third time in less than two months — serious injury after an ugly mishap.
“It could have been a lot worse,” said Bryant, who missed only one game in June after twisting his ankle on the bag at third while catching a popup, and only one more after the sprain in Atlanta.
Consider that Ben Zobrist, who came off the bench in the seventh to double home the go-ahead runs in a comeback win, was somewhere between Nashville, Tennessee, and Cincinnati while the rest of the team took batting practice Tuesday.
Ian Happ, replacing Zobrist in the lineup, walked in the Cubs’ three-run fifth, eventually thrown out at the plate trying to score on Jason Heyward’s tying single to end the inning.
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