SAN DIEGO -- Kris Bryant didn't play at Petco Park during his three years at the University of San Diego, but the Cubs' top prospect looked right at home Thursday night when he hit his fifth home run of the season.
"I'm glad [Bryant] was able to come through for the hometown crowd -- that was nice," manager Joe Maddon said after his club's 3-0 win vs. the Padres.
Bryant launched an 0-1 curve from Odrisamer Despaigne to straightaway center in the first inning to drive in Dexter Fowler, who had walked, and open a 2-0 lead. Not that he was feeling any pressure, but Bryant didn't want to disappoint family and friends.
"That's what [assistant hitting coach Eric] Hinske was telling me -- 'You don't leave San Diego without a home run,'" Bryant said.
The blast helped Bryant extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He's now homered five times in his last 39 at-bats after beginning his big league career without one in 73 at-bats.
"I finally got a hanging curve," Bryant said. "I like to hit those. Those are usually easy to get in the air, and I saw that coming. I wanted to put it in the air."
Other Major League teams will probably note that. Bryant now is hitting .317 (19-for-60) in his last 17 games with one double, one triple, five homers, 14 runs scored and 17 RBIs. He leads the Cubs in RBIs for the season with 27.