Bryant's big league debut spoiled by Myers' decisive blast
By Corey Brock and Sarah Trotto
CHICAGO -- In a game that featured the highly anticipated Major League debut of Cubs rookie Kris Bryant, San Diego's Wil Myers stole the show with a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Padres topped the Cubs, 5-4, on Friday afternoon before a crowd of 32,138 at Wrigley Field.
Bryant, promoted Friday from Triple-A Iowa, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The third baseman started a double play and possibly saved a run by snagging a line drive with a runner on first base in the fifth inning. Bryant also grounded out to end the seventh with two on. More >
With the Cubs leading, 4-2, in the seventh inning, Chicago reliever Brian Schlitter and catcher Welington Castillo thought they had Myers struck out to end the inning, but the Padres' center fielder followed with his first home run of the season. More >
"I like the fact that Wil regrouped, and it looked like they were going to stay hard on him and he turned it around," Padres manager Bud Black said of Myers' home run, after he was down 0-2 in the count. "It was a great swing."
A throwing error and a wild pitch by San Diego starting pitcher James Shields (2-0) in the third inning led to two runs (one earned). He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits over six innings, with two walks and nine strikeouts. More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Short, not-so sweet debut: Bryant's first at-bat against Shields was a short one -- only three pitches -- as the veteran pitcher carved up the rookie in the first inning. Bryant swung through a cutter and then missed two changeups for his first strikeout.
Good D: Bryant was active on defense early and often in his Major League debut. After Myers led off the first inning with a single, Bryant started a routine 5-4-3 double play, and the Cubs' crowd roared. Bryant also made a nice play to end the fifth inning, as he stretched out to snag Derek Norris' liner. More >
Not a cheapie: Padres third baseman Will Middlebrooks isn't a prolific home run hitter, but he sure gets a lot of mileage out of the ones he does hit. For the second time this season, he hit a ball out the other way to right field, a two-run shot in the fourth inning off Cubs starter Jason Hammel. Eleven of Middlebrooks' 36 career home runs are opposite-field shots.
Eighth, not ninth: Batting eighth, Hammel doubled to left field and scored in the third inning. The Cubs starter has three hits this season. It was his first double since 2011.
"He's a talented kid. When you're picked in the first round, there's some talent, there's skill there. Once you get into professional baseball, it's up to the player to produce and perform. And he's done that." -- Black, on Bryant
"He may have used his aggressiveness against him. He has the kind of cadre of pitches to do something like that. James is good. I was hoping he would hang a changeup. If he had, it would have gone far, but he kept getting them in good spots for him and bad for us." Cubs manager Joe Maddon, on Shields' approach to Bryant
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
So you want patience from your leadoff hitter, do you? Myers singled in his first at-bat Friday, on the first pitch he saw from Hammel. Myers is now 5-for-10 this season on 0-0 counts. That single was part of a three-hit day, including his big blast in the seventh.
Maddon challenged a call to start the sixth inning, when Starlin Castro was narrowly thrown out at first base on a nice play Middlebrooks made at third base. After a review, the call stood. In the seventh inning, there was a crew chief review on Dexter Fowler's ground-rule double, as the ball stuck in the ivy in left-center field. The call stood.
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
The Padres flew out to the warning track three times against Hammel on Friday -- Justin Upton to center field in the first inning, Jedd Gyorko to center in the second and Upton again, this time to right field in the sixth inning. San Diego finally managed to get a ball over the wall in the seventh on Myers' home run.
WHAT'S NEXT Padres:Tyson Ross makes his third start of the season on Saturday when he faces the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Ross has walked seven batters in his first two starts, but he has struck out 12 in 12 innings.
Cubs:Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 10.38 ERA) takes the mound for his second start of the season on Saturday. The right-hander allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Rockies in his season debut on Sunday. He went 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 13 starts last season as a rookie.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.