BOSTON -- Kristopher Bryant had taken batting practice one time at Fenway Park when he was a collegian and playing in the Cape Cod League, but he didn't clear the Green Monster during that visit."We had a practice here in college and I didn't hit one out," the Cubs' third
BOSTON -- Kristopher Bryant had taken batting practice one time at Fenway Park when he was a collegian and playing in the Cape Cod League, but he didn't clear the Green Monster during that visit.
"We had a practice here in college and I didn't hit one out," the Cubs' third baseman said before this weekend's series opener against the Red Sox. "Hopefully I can change the tide."
Bryant did just that in the first inning of Friday night's 5-4 loss. He launched his third home run of the season, sending an 0-1 pitch from the Red Sox's Thomas Pomeranz over the Monster.
"Bryant's a good hitter, just reacted, got it out of here," Pomeranz said of the dinger that according to Statcast™, had an exit velocity of 106.8 mph and traveled 449 feet. It was the fifth-longest home run at Fenway Park in the Statcast™ Era.
Bryant's dad, Mike, was drafted by the Red Sox and played two years in the Minor Leagues, but he never made it to the Majors. As Bryant crossed home plate, he saw his dad and pointed to the stands.
"That's probably the only time I've ever actually seen my family in the stands," Bryant said. "I was like, 'Oh, there he is. Proud dad.'"
It wasn't that Mike Bryant was the only one wearing Cubs blue in the crowd of 37,054, but he had an aisle seat and was jumping up and down in the aisle.
"It was probably one of my favorite home runs, considering my family is from this area and my dad [was drafted by the Red Sox] and all that," Bryant said. "It felt really good."
The family spent Thursday's off-day doing the typical touristy things, such as going on a ducks tour of the city.
"We got the little duck whistles too, and I'm sure our tour guide didn't really like us because we all had them and we were right in the front and blowing them the whole time," Bryant said.
Mike Bryant tried to instill some of the Red Sox lore in this son, but Kris admits he probably didn't listen. He does know there's a lot of history at Fenway Park.
"There's some pretty good players who sat in the same place, so it's an honor to be here," Bryant said.
Bryant also showed some nifty glovework in the fourth. The Red Sox loaded the bases and starter Jacob Arrieta struck out Andrew Benintendi, then got Mookie Betts to hit a liner that Bryant caught. Bryant was able to step on the third-base bag for the inning-ending double play.
"I looked up and he was far off the bag, and I thought it would be pretty easy to touch the bag," Bryant said. "He got there pretty quick, so I just fell on the bag. I wasn't expecting him to be off that far."
Back to that home run: Bryant may be able to get the ball. It landed on top of a garage across the street from Fenway Park.
"That's pretty cool," Bryant said. "I remember growing up, watching the games here and obviously, there was a net there, and every home run they hit, it would fly over, and they had a camera there. I think they had a home run derby and cars over there, and they were breaking windshields. It's pretty cool to actually be able to [clear the wall]."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.