LOS ANGELES — The struggling Cubs lineup was without its All-Star third baseman, Kris Bryant, for a third consecutive game because of a sore shoulder that wasn’t well enough by Monday night to allow him to be available off the bench during a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a four-game series.
Maddon said Bryant’s status will be evaluated again Tuesday but doesn’t expect him to start in that game either. He took swings off a tee Monday for the first time since Friday.
The bigger decision at that point is whether Bryant has improved enough to be ready off the bench and avoid the 10-day DL. If not, the Cubs are expected to use the three-day maximum they’re allowed to backdate a move to cover the games he has missed, which would make him eligible to play after only one more missed series.
Manager Joe Maddon again on Monday night bemoaned a lack of quality at-bats from a struggling lineup that struck out nine times in seven innings against Kenta Maeda — seven swinging — while managing just three singles and a walk against the Dodger starter.
“We just have to work better at-bats. We chase too much,” Maddon said.
The Cubs have lost five consecutive games and seven of nine.
Monday’s loss was the 38th game this season in which they’ve scored three or fewer runs; They average 7.8 runs in the other 38 games they’ve played.