Lower back trouble forces Bryant back to the bench

PITTSBURGH — Rockies left fielder Kris Bryant was pulled from the lineup on Monday with a recurrence of the lower back issues that cost him 21 games on the injured list.

Bryant had returned to the lineup Saturday and went 1-for-4 in the opener of a doubleheader against the Mets and went 0-for-2 with two walks on Sunday. He was on the original lineup card for the opener of a three-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Black said the Rockies, 19-21 going into Monday, are looking forward to a healthy and productive Bryant.

“Once he gets back to being Kris Bryant, he’s a presence in the middle of the order — a producer,” Black said. “On-base percentage is a big component of his game. There’s RBI potential, clutch hitting, he hits good pitching — good at-bats, takes a walk, there are things that other guys notice. He rubs off on other players by how he takes his at-bats, how he plays his offensive game.”

During Spring Training, the Rockies signed Bryant for seven years and $182 million. Bryant hit safely in the first 11 games this season while posting a .349 batting average. But after a 1-for-16 stretch over four-plus games, Bryant reported the back problem and was placed on the 10-day IL on April 29.

Bryant, 30, is batting .270 with a .342 on-base percentage, four doubles and no home runs through 17 total games this season.…

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