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Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant has giant night with three HRs, two doubles

By
Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange
Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant (C) is congratulated at home plate by teammates Matt Szcur and Addison Russell. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant (C) is congratulated at home plate by teammates Matt Szcur and Addison Russell. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

CINCINNATI -- Following his third home run on Monday night, Kris Bryant wasn't about to take a curtain call. Not on the road, not at Great American Ball Park.

Even as teammates urged him on and the roaring of thousands of Cubs fans reached a crescendo, Bryant steered clear of the dugout steps.

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"I've never been the type to show up an opponent, or anybody," Bryant said. "I don't think that's ever happened in baseball. I definitely didn't want to be the first. I'm not that type of player. I'm glad there were that many Cubs fans there and my teammates were having fun with it."

Bryant already had achieved plenty of firsts on Monday night.

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He went 5-for-5 while becoming the first player in major league history to hit three home runs along with two doubles, and he also collected a career-high six RBIs, lifting Chicago to an 11-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Bryant's 16 total bases were a franchise record.

"I'll remember this night for a very long time," said Bryant, who now has 21 homers on the season.

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He is also the first player in baseball history to hit three home runs while playing three different positions in a game. Bryant played third base, left field and right field on Monday.

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"That has to take it over the top, right there," manager Joe Maddon said. "The question was asked earlier this season if his offense is affected by where he plays defense. I'd say no."

Bryant homered in consecutive at-bats, including a three-run homer in the fourth, then went deep again in the eighth when he and first baseman Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back homers off Ross Ohlendorf.

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Jake Arrieta (12-2) also homered as part of a 17-hit outburst by the Cubs as they overcame a rough outing for their right-handed ace. Making his first start against the Reds since no-hitting them on April 21, Arrieta gave up five earned runs and walked five in five innings.

"I was my own worst enemy tonight," Arrieta said. "Beating yourself in a game like that can't happen. Kris was the reason we won that game."

The Cubs led 8-3 after four innings, but the Reds pecked away at the Chicago bullpen to make it a one-run game heading into the eighth. But that was before Bryant and Rizzo helped Chicago extend the lead and ultimately give Arrieta a victory.

Joey Votto homered twice for Cincinnati, which has lost seven of eight games this season to the Cubs. For Votto, it was his 12th career multi-home run game.

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Hector Rondon got the final out for his 14th save of the season.

Dan Straily (4-5) took the loss for Cincinnati, allowing a career-high seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

"So much of it comes down to pitch accuracy," said manager Bryan Price. "You saw it with Arrieta tonight, too. He just wasn't crisp with his command. Same with Dan. You saw a lot of balls on the barrels."

The first inning lasted nearly 30 minutes as Straily and Arrieta struggled.

Jason Heyward singled with one out in the first and scored on Bryant's double into the left-field corner to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.

The Cubs loaded the bases with one out and Miguel Montero's sacrifice fly drove home the second run.

Adam Duvall doubled in two runs for the Reds to tie the score 2-2.

Bryant untied it in the third when he launched a 1-0 pitch from Straily into the home bullpen in left-center. It was Bryant's 19th home run this season.

His second homer, a three-run shot in the fourth, traveled an estimated 444 feet into the second deck of the left-field bleachers, putting the Cubs ahead 7-3.

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It was his second multi-home run game of the season and fifth of his career.

Straily allowed a career-high seven earned runs in 3 2/2 innings.

Arrieta's solo homer to the opposite field, the fifth home run of his career, made the score 8-3 in the fifth.

Votto got in the act for Cincinnati, clubbing his 12th homer of the year, a two-run blast off Arrieta to make the score 8-5.

Bryant handed his bat to a Cubs fan who was celebrating a birthday on Monday night. But, not THE bat.

"I'm using that one tomorrow," Bryant said. "I've never been the superstitious type. But, I ripped my pants in the first inning sliding into third. I'm wearing those until they're done."

NOTES: Per Elias, 3B Kris Bryant is the third player in modern major-league history to have an extra-base hit in each at-bat in a game, with at least five at-bats and three home runs in that game. The others were Josh Hamilton (2012) and Joe Adcock (1954). ... The Cubs selected the contract of RHP Joel Peralta from Iowa on Monday and optioned LHP Gerardo Concepcion to the Triple-A club. Peralta faced two batters in the ninth inning Monday and allowed one home run. ... Reds RHP Jumbo Diaz was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Monday, filling the roster spot of RHP J.C. Ramirez, who was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. ... Cubs C Tim Federowicz, who was designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. ... Reds RHP Caleb Cotham threw 20 pitches on Monday and plans to begin a minor-league rehab assignment later this week.

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