Kris Bryant (right hamstring fatigue) feeling better after day off

Bryant didn’t start in Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Cardinals.

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Manager David Ross said Kris Bryant will be in the starting lineup for Friday’s game against the Diamondbacks.

Manager David Ross said Kris Bryant will be in the starting lineup for Friday’s game against the Diamondbacks.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

ST. LOUIS —Kris Bryantwas out of the Cubs’ starting lineup for the second consecutive day for Thursday’s series finale against the Cardinals.

Bryant was pulledfrom Tuesday’sgame with right hamstring fatigue and what managerDavid Rosshas often referred to this week as heavy legs.

Bryant was unavailable inWednesday’s 3-2loss and didn’t pinch-hit in the 10th inning as backup catcherRobinson Chirinoshit instead with a runner on.

While having Bryant in the lineup is always Ross’ first choice, keeping him healthy is the primary goal.

“It’s like holding a deck of cards and knowing I can’t use the ace,” Ross saidbefore Thursday’sgame. “But I know why. I’m not ever going to put somebody in harm’s way.

‘‘I think protecting your guys, whether it’s talking to guys or not, using them in a game or putting them in a situation where they get hurt themselves. I’ve learned valuable, valuable lessons in this seat. Having somebody sit out a day or two is much better than 10, 15, 20 [days] in a month, right. It’s just not worth it. It just isn’t.”

Bryant did pinch-hit in the eighth inning Thursday and drew a walk before being replaced by pinch runner Jason Heyward.

He will be in the starting lineup Friday when the Cubs face the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field, according to Ross.

Homers bite Alzolay early

It didn’t look likeAdbert Alzolaywas going to be long for Thursday’s game against the Cardinals as he was bitten by the home-run ball early. The Cardinals jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead afterDylan Carlson’slead-off homer. Third basemanNolan Arenadoadded a two-run shot in the third inning to make it a 3-0 game.

But after the Arenado homer, Alzolay was able to get locked in. The Cubs’ right-hander retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced.

Alzolay finished the game allowing just the three early runs on four hits. He walked three batters and struck out eight.

Megill in, Alcantara out

The Cubs recalled right-handed pitcherTrevor Megillfrom the Triple-A Iowabefore Thursday’sgame against the Cardinals. Megill has an 18.00 ERA in five games this season.

InfielderSergio Alcantarawas optioned to Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Alcantara is slashing .171/.266/.354 with two homers and five RBI in 39 games this season.

InfielderMatt Duffywas expected to come off the injured list Thursday, but the team is pushing his activation back by a day. Nothing has changed in Duffy’s status and he will be activated on Friday.

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