Cubs’ Jared Young hits his first career home run, shares heartwarming plans for the ball

Notes: Cody Bellinger is back in center field, while Seiya Suzuki remains out of the lineup with a stiff neck.

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Cubs rookie Jared Young hits his first major-league home run in the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.

Cubs rookie Jared Young hits his first major-league home run in the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Cubs rookie Jared Young met his 1-month-old niece, Lily, for the first time on the field Wednesday, the same day he hit his first major-league home run.

The offense’s comeback effort, initiated by Young’s solo shot, served as a silver lining in the Cubs’ 8-5 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday. The Cubs have lost four games in a row, including three to the Phillies, their first series loss since being swept by the Angels three weeks ago.

Young was the team’s latest call-up, someone they thought could add power from the left-hand side. In his first at-bat of the season, he proved them right.

“One of those at-bats that your heart’s racing a little bit,” Young said. “First at-bat back at Wrigley kind of got me going. And it’s, just stay in the fight.”

He fell behind 0-2 on called strikes. Then he turned on a sinker inside and blasted it 425 feet, two-thirds of the way up the right-field stands. It cut the Phillies’ lead to four.

“A good swing like that can help sometimes,” Young said. “I was really pumped up. I was excited. My family was here. It was just a really good moment for me.”

His brother Tanner brought Lily, who was born in Young’s native Canada.

After the game, Jared traded a bat and picture to the fan who caught his home-run ball. He decided he’d give the ball to his niece.

Bellinger back in center

Cody Bellinger had been playing first base since returning from the injured list (bruised left knee) two weeks ago. But on Monday, he texted manager David Ross, saying he was ready to return to center field. He wanted one more day of pregame work in the outfield, Ross said, which Bellinger checked off in recent days.

Ross pegged Thursday as the best day for Bellinger to move back to center, roaming the outfield for the first time since May 15.

With Seiya Suzuki out of the lineup with a stiff neck for the second straight day, Ross stacked the lineup with left-handed hitters against Phillies right-hander Taijuan Walker. Mike Tauchman, who had been filling in for Bellinger in center field, replaced Suzuki in right. Young got the start at first base.

“He’s definitely feeling it still,” Ross said of Suzuki, “but words out of his mouth were, ‘better today.’ ”

Suzuki took swings in the batting cage before the game to test his neck, according to Ross.

All-Stars in the making

The Cubs didn’t have any position players in the running when MLB announced All-Star starters on Thursday. The league is set to reveal reserves and pitchers on Sunday. But the Cubs’ Futures Game representatives — outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong and infielder B.J. Murray — received praise from the front office this week.

“Most hitters swing too much, and B.J. doesn’t,” vice president of player development Jared Banner said. “He’s not one of those guys, and it really works well for his game. And he’s also really improved as a defender at third base, as well. So we’re excited about him.”

General manager Carter Hawkins was asked if Crow-Armstrong, ranked as the Cubs’ No. 1 prospect, could earn a promotion to Triple-A after the Futures Game.

“I think those conversations will start probably towards the second half here,” Hawkins said. “But right now, we’re just excited about the progress he’s making.”

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