NL MVP Kris Bryant returns to Cubs lineup

CHICAGO (AP) Cubs star Kris Bryant is back in the starting lineup after missing three games with an illness.

Bryant got the start in right field for the opener of a three-game series against Cincinnati. The NL MVP is batting .299 with seven homers and 18 RBIs in 34 games.

Manager Joe Maddon also says outfielder Jon Jay is available, and second baseman Ben Zobrist could have played, but he wants to be cautious with him. Jay and Zobrist have been dealing with back issues.

Also Tuesday, outfielder Jason Heyward tested his hand injury with live batting practice on the field. Heyward is on the 10-day disabled list with a sore knuckle on his right hand.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.