Bryant exits early to get a breather

Cubs say star third baseman OK after fouling ball off foot early

Bryant exits early to get a breather

CHICAGO -- Cubs rookie Kris Bryant was removed from Thursday's game after five innings to take advantage of the lopsided score and give him a breather, and not because of an injury.

"He took a foul ball off his foot but the lead permitted us to [take him out of the game]," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Had it been a closer game, he would've been in the game."

On Thursday against the Braves, he reached on a fielder's choice in the second, and struck out in the third and fifth innings. He fouled a ball off his leg or foot in the third.

The Cubs had a 7-0 lead when Jonathan Herrera took over at third base for Bryant in the sixth inning.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.