Bryant cheered in Wrigley return, Giants win 5th in row

Sep 10, 2021, 2:55 AM | Updated: 4:11 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — Kris Bryant drew a pair of standing ovations in his return to Wrigley Field, then Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt homered in the seventh inning to send the San Francisco Giants over the Chicago Cubs 6-1 Friday for their fifth straight win.

The Giants, who entered 2 ½ games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, improved to a major league-best 91-50.

It was 1-all when Longoria hit a two-run homer that put San Francisco ahead. Belt connected for a two-run drive later in the inning.

While all eyes were on Bryant in this one, Belt has been fueling the Giants during their most recent surge.

The 33-year-old first baseman added a double and two walks, giving him eight hits in 17 at-bats his last four games.

“I don’t know if I can get more confident than I am right now,” Belt deadpanned. “I just named myself captain.”

Belt apparently proclaimed himself captain of the club on recent flight. Longoria joking responded by taping a “C” on the front of Belt’s jersey before Friday’s game — and Belt wore it while reaching base four times.

“I wasn’t going to wear it, but everybody thought that I should,” Belt said.

Not only is Belt swinging a hot bat, Longoria is picking up the pace, too, as the Giants roll toward the finish.

“I think I’m in a pretty good spot,” Longoria said. “I think I need a few more high-leverage at-bats.”

Rookie Frank Schwindel hit a solo drive for the Cubs, giving him 12 homers and seven in the last 11 games. Chicago lost for just the second time in 10 games.

Bryant was traded to the Giants for two prospects at the July 30 deadline as the rebuilding Cubs unloaded marquee stars who were set to become free agents after this season. The 29-year-old got a standing ovation from the crowd of 29,439 during a pregame video tribute and again before his first inning at-bat.

The slugger was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2015, then the NL MVP in 2016 when the Cubs won the World Series to end a 108-year championship drought. In this one, Bryant went 0 for 3 with a walk, run and struck out swinging twice.

“There was a lot going on in terms of emotions,” Bryant said. “It was pretty hard to contain it all.”

“It kind of got the best of me and it was kind of hard to play baseball after that,” he said.

Longoria hit a full-count fastball from Trevor Megill (1-1) high into the bleachers in left-center for his 11th homer and first since Aug. 17. The third baseman, who returned last week from a bruised right hand, added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Belt tagged Michael Rucker for his 22nd homer, a shot to the basket in left. LaMonte Wade Jr. had two hits and an RBI.

San Francisco’s Dominic Leone opened with two perfect innings on a bullpen day, and the Giants used eight pitchers in a combined two-hitter. Camilo Doval (2-1) got the final out of the sixth for the win.

Kyle Hendricks allowed one run on four hits over six innings in a no-decision. He struck out four, walked two and was back in form after three rocky starts when he had a 10.13 ERA over 16 innings.

“It was good to see him back to being the way he normally is,” said bench coach Andy Green, who is running the team with manager David Ross out after a positive COVID-19 test. “It was good to see him be him.”

Schwindel gave the Cubs home runs in 16 straight games, one short of the team record set in 1998.


After watching the video tribute while standing in front of the Giants dugout, Bryant strolled to home plate for handshakes and hugs with Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and other team officials.

The Cubs presented Bryant with a 2016 World Series championship pennant and a replica No. 17 panel – his uniform number in Chicago — from Wrigley Field’s vintage center-field scoreboard.

The crowd cheered again when he struck out to end the inning first inning.

Bryant told reporters he got a voicemail message from Ricketts when he was traded, but he said things were so hectic — the Cubs were in Washington — that he never returned the call.


With Longoria back in the lineup at third, the versatile Bryant played left field — where he hoped to resume friendly banter with fans in the bleachers.


The Cubs placed LHP Adam Morgan on the bereavement list before the game and recalled RHP pitcher Tommy Nance from Triple-A Iowa.


Giants: Manager Gabe Kapler said OF Alex Dickerson (right hamstring strain) would be sent on a rehab assignment after Friday’s game. … INF Donovan Solano (COVID-19 ) ran the bases on Friday. … Wilmer Flores (left hamstring strain) is expected to rejoin the team on Sunday.

Cubs: RHP Keegan Thompson (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to throw a bullpen session in the next few days, Green said.


Giants RHP Kevin Gausman (13-5, 2.58) faces Cubs RHP Zach Davies (6-10, 5.16) on Saturday afternoon.


More AP MLB: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Texas interim coach Rodney Terry signals to players during the first half of the team's NCAA colleg...
Associated Press

Rodney Terry constantly auditioning as Texas interim coach

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Every game the Texas Longhorns play feels like an audition for interim coach Rodney Terry. At some point, the school must decide if he deserves a callback. What would that take? A Big 12 championship? A deep run into the NCAA Tournament? Texas hasn’t won the league’s regular-season title or made […]
1 day ago
FILE - Carolina Panthers' Steve Wilks warms up wearing a T-shirt in support of Buffalo Bills player...
Associated Press

Wilks ‘disappointed, not defeated’ over Panthers snub

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Former Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks is “disappointed, but not defeated” that he didn’t land the team’s full-time head coaching position. The Panthers announced on Thursday they’ve agreed to hire Frank Reich as their new head coach. “The sun rose this morning and by the grace of God so […]
1 day ago
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Ja...
Associated Press

4 of NFL’s best TEs on display in conference title games

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — When Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes headed up the tunnel inside Arrowhead Stadium to have X-rays taken on his sprained right ankle, and Chad Henne trotted onto the field in the second quarter of their divisional playoff game against Jacksonville, it was obvious who the backup quarterback was going to target. […]
1 day ago
Kansas State forward Keyontae Johnson (11) shoots under pressure from Kansas forward K.J. Adams Jr....
Associated Press

Keyontae Johnson at No. 5 K-State to face ex-Gator teammates

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — There are still a handful of players left at Florida who remember the exact moment, during a timeout against rival Florida State more than two years ago, that Keyontae Johnson collapsed to the floor and time seemed to stand still. Johnson was loaded onto a stretcher, taken to the hospital and […]
1 day ago
FILE - Ireland head coach Andy Farrell watches his players warm-up ahead of the rugby international...
Associated Press

6 Nations: France, Ireland set for duel under Netflix glare

Rugby’s oldest championship is getting a modern twist with the Netflix streaming service being given a behind-the-scenes look at the 2023 Six Nations for a docuseries released next year. It should help to broaden the sport’s appeal, driving more interest in the United States especially ahead of the country hosting a Rugby World Cup for […]
1 day ago
FILE - Oklahoma City Thunder's Chet Holmgren (7) drives against Houston Rockets' Jabari Smith II du...
Associated Press

Analysis: It may be time to re-think NBA All-Star voting

It’s reasonable to think Chet Holmgren will be an NBA All-Star one day. He was a highly recruited high school player whose one year at Gonzaga was stellar enough for Oklahoma City to make him the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft. He’s an obvious talent, an enormous talent. And it’s terrible that Holmgren […]
1 day ago
Bryant cheered in Wrigley return, Giants win 5th in row