CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Hendricks mixed speeds, hit his spots and kept hitters off balance. It was a vintage performance that added up to his first win of the season and another victory for the rolling Cubs.
Hendricks struck out a season-high 11 over seven scoreless innings, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Friday.
“Classic Kyle,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Hendricks (1-3) became the third consecutive Cubs starter to go seven innings without allowing a run after Jose Quintana and Cole Hamels did it in back-to-back shutouts against Miami. The right-hander gave up three hits, walked two and finished one strikeout shy of a career high after losing his first three starts.
“Q and Cole have been doing an unbelievable job, just attacking guys,” Hendricks said. “I think it’s filtering down to the rest of us now. I’ve just been trying to stay right in stride with them, establish the heater early, attack guys, don’t give in. I did have a couple walks that weren’t great, but at least I made good pitches even in that situation.”
The Cubs went 31 innings without allowing a run, matching their longest streak since July 1976, before Brad Brach gave up an RBI double to Ketel Marte with one out in the ninth. Pedro Strop came in with runners on second and third and retired Nick Ahmed on a grounder before striking out Carson Kelly to secure the Cubs’ eighth win in 11 games. Chicago is 9-9 after a 1-6 start.
Kris Bryant drove in two runs with a wind-aided, bases-loaded double in the second on a blustery afternoon. He also singled and scored in a two-run sixth.
Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI triple in the fourth as the Cubs chased a wild Merrill Kelly (1-2). Willson Contreras added two hits, including an RBI single against Matt Koch in the sixth.
Javier Baez cooled off after four straight multihit games, going 0 for 5 with three strikeouts. The Cubs went 4 for 17 with runners in scoring position, but started a six-game homestand on a winning note after sweeping three at Miami.
The Diamondbacks had won four in a row. But Kelly lasted just 3 2/3 innings, walking a career-high seven while giving up three runs and six hits. It was a rough homecoming-of-sorts for the 30-year-old rookie, who lived in suburban Lake Forest from grades three to eight.
“It could have been a different day for me if I didn’t walk seven people,” Kelly said. “That’s what I’m taking away more than the wind, more than anything. The elements are going to be the elements. I can’t control that. I can control pounding the zone. I can control throwing strikes, and winning the counts, and being ahead of the counts.”
Hendricks went 64 starts without a wild pitch before he threw one in the second inning. It was his first since Sept. 5, 2016.
He was also hit on the top of the left foot by Christian Walker’s comebacker in the seventh, but said he was fine.
Diamondbacks: LHP T.J. McFarland (left shoulder inflammation) threw an inning in a rehab outing for Triple-A Reno on Thursday and has another one scheduled for Sunday.
Cubs: Manager Joe Maddon said ace Jon Lester (left hamstring strain) is “doing really well” as he works his way back, though he didn’t have “an exact date” on when he will throw a simulated game. The 35-year-old left-hander was injured running the bases in the Cubs’ home opener against Pittsburgh on April 8. Lester has a 2.57 ERA in three starts, after tying for the National League lead with 18 wins last season.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Greinke (2-1, 5.79 ERA) goes for his first victory at Wrigley Field, the only National League ballpark where he hasn’t won. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA in five starts at the Friendly Confines.
Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (1-2, 6.11) goes for his second straight win. The four-time All-Star struck out eight over a season-high 5 2/3 innings in a 7-2 win at Miami on Monday.
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