BY TONI GINNETTI
For the Sun-Times
Kris Bryant might’ve been the only one Sunday at Wrigley Field who didn’t watch his mammoth home run sail toward the left-field seats in the fifth inning of the Cubs’ 6-4 victory.
“I don’t believe in showing up an opponent,’’ Bryant said.
But his teammates and most of the 41,183 fans were awed by the blast, whose path was interrupted by the new video board.
MLB Statcast, which measures estimated home-run distances, calculated the shot to have gone 495 feet — the longest in the majors this season.
“We all kind of were just watching it,’’ starter Kyle Hendricks said. “It was a big run at the time.’’
It was the first hit off Diamondbacks starter Rubby De La Rosa (12-7), and it came on an 0-2 pitch with the Cubs trailing 1-0.
“You don’t expect to get much with two strikes, so you shorten up and try to put it in play, but the wind was blowing out,’’ Bryant said. “It was a crucial part of the game because he was throwing a no-hitter.’’
It was his 23rd homer and 86th RBI, tying him with Billy Williams (1961) and Geovany Soto (2008) for most RBI by a Cubs rookie.
Williams and Soto were rookies of the year, and Bryant still has almost a month to play.
He also is two homers shy of Williams’ Cubs rookie record.
Bryant’s homer was one of three for the Cubs. In the sixth inning, Miguel Montero hit a grand slam, and pinch hitter Jonathan Herrera also went deep.
“Bryant got the game rolling back in our direction,’’ manager Joe Maddon said. “Montero has come through in some really big moments for us. And how about Herrera’s pinch hit.’’
The Cubs have homered in 15 consecutive home games, tying their longest such streak since the summer of 1961. They have 39 homers in their last 15 games at Wrigley.
“[The slam] was pretty big because we took the lead and had a nice lead for our pitchers,’’ Montero said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen [a homer as long as Bryant’s]. Pretty strong.’’
The victory went to Justin Grimm (3-4), one of four relievers who worked after Hendricks (five innings, one run, three hits, four strikeouts, two walks).
The sweep was the seventh by the Cubs and the first of the Diamondbacks at home since 2012. The Cubs finished with a 19-13 mark against the National League West.
Maddon said monitoring the bullpen is his biggest daily concern.
“We’ve been trying to keep [Pedro] Strop and [Hector] Rondon’s appearances down,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘You don’t want to blow them up too early. Hopefully, they’ll see a lot of appearances in the next 10 days.’’
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