MLB

Kris Bryant homers for first time with Rockies to snap career-worst drought

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Outfielder Kris Bryant launched his first home run since joining the Colorado Rockies over the offseason on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers (GameTracker). 

Bryant’s home run, a solo shot, came in the sixth inning and reduced Los Angeles’ lead to 4-2. According to Statcast, his home run left the bat traveling at 104 mph and carried a projected 392 feet to center field. Here’s the visual evidence:

Bryant, 30, originally signed a seven-year pact with the Rockies worth more than $180 million in the middle of March. He appeared in 15 games to begin the season before landing on the injured list with a back injury. Bryant returned in late May, but required another stint on the IL because of his back. He was activated just over a week ago, with Tuesday’s game representing his seventh appearance since coming back.

Entering Tuesday, Bryant had batted .284/.343/.341 (85 OPS+) with five extra-base hits (all doubles) and no stolen bases. Although part of his past appeal was his defensive flexibility, he has yet to play an inning anywhere but left field.

According to Baseball Reference’s database, Bryant’s 23-game homerless slump was the longest in his career to begin a season. (That honor had previously belonged to a 20-game stretch in 2015, his rookie year.) It should be noted that Bryant’s power outage looks even worse considering he hadn’t homered in his last 15 games to end last season, meaning his slump was a career-worst 38 games in total.

Bryant had previously gone more than 20 games without a home run just twice in his career, and he had never gone more than 24 games.

Nevertheless, the Rockies entered Tuesday with a 35-45 record on the season, putting them in last place in the National League West, some 15 1/2 games back of the Dodgers.



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