Rockies’ Bryant closer to return after cortisone shot

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

DENVER — Colorado Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant took swings in the cage Friday for the first time since he was sidelined with a sore back nearly three weeks ago and is eyeing a minor league rehab assignment as soon as next week.

Bryant had a cortisone injection in Arizona on Monday that has speeded his recovery from pain in his lower back.

“I think I’ve had three of these before in different areas and I wasn’t really a believer in them,” Bryant said. “Doing one in the back obviously wasn’t very comfortable, but hopefully I get a lot of relief from it. And so far, so good.”

Bryant spent about 15 minutes before Friday’s game against Kansas City doing some running and throwing in the outfield. He then took swings in the cage for the first time since he last played April 25 against Philadelphia.

“No problems, so that’s a good sign. He’ll do that again (Saturday) with a little more activity and increase the intensity,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “Probably increase the number of swings as well. Probably go out and practice some defense as well. Probably do a little bit of that on Sunday morning as well, and then we’ll assess where he is.

“But it’s a good sign he’s back on the field and doing all baseball activities. He’s getting closer.”

Black said it was likely Bryant would go on a brief minor league rehab stint before returning to the lineup.

Bryant, who signed a seven-year, $172 million free-agent deal with the Rockies in March, is still looking for his first home run with Colorado. The four-time All-Star and 2016 NL MVP is batting .281 with four RBIs. He’s struck out 12 times in 57 at-bats.

Bryant was upbeat as she spoke in the dugout after his work on the field.

“Obviously I wasn’t trying too hard but everything felt good,” he said. “It felt quick, arm feels good.”

Alvarez’s bases-clearing double sends Astros past White Sox

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON – Yordan Alvarez hit a go-ahead three-run double in the seventh inning, and the Houston Astros rallied past the Chicago White Sox 6-3 on Friday night for their first win of the season.

Kyle Tucker hit a two-run homer in the sixth and made a spectacular catch at the wall in the seventh to rob Andrew Benintendi of extra bases and keep the World Series champion Astros within one run.

Eloy Jimenez hit two RBI doubles for the White Sox, both off Astros starter Cristian Javier.

Jimenez’s first double scored Tim Anderson in the first inning. In the sixth, Javier gave up three straight doubles to Benintendi, Jimenez and Joan Moncada to make it 3-0 and end his night.

White Sox reliever Kendall Graveman (0-1) loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh on two walks and a single. Jake Diekman came on and gave up Alvarez’s double to deep left-center, a drive that just eluded Luis Robert Jr. and bounced off the wall, clearing the bases.

Four Astros relievers each worked one scoreless inning. Seth Martinez (1-0) got the win and Rafael Montero handled the ninth for his first save.

Chicago starter Lance Lynn allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings.


White Sox INF Andrew Vaughn, who hit a go-ahead two-run double in Thursday’s season-opening win, did not play. Vaughn experienced lower back issues during spring training. Gavin Sheets started at first base.


Astros outfielder Corey Yulks, a Houston-area native, singled in his first at-bat and finished 1-for-4 in his major league debut.


Astros owner Jim Crane and his wife, Whitney, presented the team and staff with their 2022 World Series rings in a pregame ceremony.


Astros: LHP Blake Taylor, who is on the 15-day injured list with a left elbow strain, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sugar Land.


The four-game season-opening series continues Saturday when Houston’s Jose Urquidy faces Chicago’s Lucas Giolito.