It had been nearly two weeks since Kris Bryant last homered. Coincidentally, it was a two-homer performance against the Dodgers on June 22. Bryant got back on the board in a big way on Saturday night against the Marlins.
The Cubs’ third base prospect drilled a two-run home run to left-center in the first inning off of Jarred Cosart to start the scoring in the first inning. He tacked on with a grand slam in the second inning to chase Cosart from the game.
Bryant, 23, now has 12 home runs with 49 RBI and a .278/.381/.486 triple-slash line.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant may have single-handedly resulted in Marlins starter Jarred Cosart’s demotion to Triple-A following Saturday’s game at Wrigley Field. Cosart lasted only 1 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Six of those runs came on two Kris Bryant home runs: a two-run shot in the first inning, and a grand slam in the second. Cosart also issued a bases-loaded walk to Dexter Fowler.
Cosart has been hampered by a hamstring injury and a bout with vertigo during the season. Saturday’s start was only his ninth of the season. He heads to Triple-A New Orleans, per Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, ahead of the Marlins’ activation of Michael Morse, which will come on Sunday. Morse has been sidelined since May 23 with a sprained finger and also suffered a back injury during his rehab, slowing his return.
Tom Koehler is dealing with neck/back issue, so the Marlins have called up prospect left-hander Justin Nicolino to make his major league debut tonight against the Reds.
Acquired in the blockbuster 12-player trade with the Blue Jays in November of 2012, Nicolino was ranked as the organization’s No. 3 prospect by Baseball America over the winter. The 23-year-old had a 2.87 ERA over 13 starts with Triple-A New Orleans this season. He’s known for his good control and ability to induce ground balls, but he has averaged just 6.5 K/9 in the minors.
Koehler told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that he expects to be ready for his next turn in the rotation, so Nicolino might only be up for one start. Keep in mind, the Marlins also have Jarred Cosart and Jose Fernandez close to returning from the disabled list.