Cubs' Kris Bryant returns, thought of Schwarber's collision

Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was back in the lineup Tuesday after an outfield collision the day before, but that didn't mean he didn't get a scare.

The crash with center fielder Albert Almora Jr. in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds brought to mind the collision that Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber had with Dexter Fowler in the third game of the season. That one ended Schwarber's season when he suffered a serious knee injury.

"Yeah, right when I hit the ground. Any time it's with the knee and it goes the way it's not supposed to go, it's scary," Bryant, who played left field on Monday, said Tuesday. "So I was sitting there on the ground looking at my leg, and it looked straight to me, so I thought maybe it's not as bad as that. But that was the first thing that crossed my mind, what happened to Kyle."

The Cubs said that Bryant suffered a lower left leg bruise. Bryant said that his leg was sore "but nothing to keep me from playing."

Bryant had an eventful day Monday. He hit his league-leading 24th home run but also had another near miss with shortstop Addison Russell in the third inning on a popup to left.

"I think I got lucky," he said. "Yesterday wasn't the best day in the outfield. But like I said, things could have been a lot worse."

While Almora blamed himself Monday for the collision, the consensus among Bryant and the Cubs is that he needs to yell louder when calling for balls in the outfield.

"I probably wasn't calling for it as loud as I could, but I was calling for it, just because of what happened with me and Addison earlier," he said. "But it was unfortunate that we were both calling for it at the same time."

On Tuesday, Almora expressed remorse again for his role in the collision.

"I don't want to hurt like my brother," he said. "He's going to be one of my witnesses at my wedding in a couple weeks. I came in after the game. I tried to find him and he's doing all right. I gave him like 15,000 hugs I think. I apologized every time, but he's good."

On Tuesday, Bryant was on the lineup card at third base, batting second.

Ben Zobrist returned to the lineup after a day off to bat leadoff and play right field. Willson Contreras, who normally catches and also had a home run Monday, was slated to start in left field.

Jason Heyward, who was dropped to the sixth spot for the first time Monday and responded with two hits and two RBIs, was again batting there Tuesday. Maddon had pitcher John Lackey hitting eighth, with second baseman Javier Baez in the 9-spot.

Bryant has 63 RBIs to go with his 24 homers this season. He is likely to be named the All-Star Game starter at third base when final fan voting is released Tuesday.

Information from ESPN's Jesse Rogers was used in this report.
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