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Heyward returns to lineup, homers in first AB

DH benefiting Baez; Cubs monitoring Montgomery
@RichardJustice
May 29, 2019

HOUSTON -- Kris Bryant was back in the Cubs' lineup Wednesday. He missed a second straight game on Tuesday after being shaken up during an outfield collision with Jason Heyward on Sunday. As for Heyward, he missed just one game and was back in right field and hitting sixth against

HOUSTON -- Kris Bryant was back in the Cubs' lineup Wednesday. He missed a second straight game on Tuesday after being shaken up during an outfield collision with Jason Heyward on Sunday.

As for Heyward, he missed just one game and was back in right field and hitting sixth against the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Tuesday's 9-6 loss. On cue, he homered in his first at-bat as part of the Cubs' three-homer second inning.

“I’m waiting to hear,” manager Joe Maddon said of Bryant on Tuesday. “He’s supposed to have hit a little bit, and after he hits and does some normal activities, I’ll know more. If that trends well, we might be able to get him back tomorrow, possibly.”

With Bryant missing only two games, the Cubs dodged a bullet given the ferocity of the collision. In the days since, Bryant has undergone a battery of tests and improved steadily.

Maddon was asked if he might give Bryant off Wednesday anyway since the Cubs have a day off on Thursday. Maddon said that when Bryant is cleared medically, he’d be back in the lineup.

“Going one step at a time with this whole thing,” Maddon said. “Go do your thing right now. Once he does that, he’s got to settle down and report to the doctors. Once he’s ready to go, he’ll be out there.”

Baez taking advantage of DH

Javier Baez was the Cubs' designated hitter for a second straight game as Maddon takes advantage of the spot to give his bruised right heel a bit of rest. Baez sustained the injury May 19 in a game against the Nationals.

“It just bothers him a bit when he moves laterally,” Maddon said. “Playing the American League game, I talked to him about that in Chicago. I said, 'We got that [DH] spot if you need it.'

“I left it open for him to let me know when he thinks he wants to get back out there. He knows how he feels. I trust him. If this was a National League game, he might be playing tonight at shortstop.”

Key Minors outings for Strop

Cubs closer Pedro Strop, recovering from a hamstring injury, pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday in New Orleans and is slated to throw another on Thursday in Round Rock. If he comes through both OK, he could be activated for this weekend’s series in St. Louis.

Montgomery 'injury' not serious

Left-hander Mike Montgomery's sore middle finger had progressed to the point that he’ll probably be available on Wednesday.

“I’m going to wait and find out,” Maddon said. “He said he feels better coming in. My take would be it’s probably going to be [Wednesday], but if he’s adamant that he can pitch [Tuesday], I’ll listen to that. It wasn’t necessarily an injury.”

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.