The Cubs headed into Tuesday night’s contest against the Kansas City Royals riding high with an 8-2 record buoyed by four straight victories. Kyle Hendricks took the mound for the Cubs looking for a bounceback appearance after allowing six earned runs in 4.1 innings against Cincinnati on July 29.
Another win gave the Northsiders a sweep in the Wrigley leg of their four-game series against KC before heading to Missouri for the beginning of a scheduled seven-game road trip. (Box score)
Why the Cubs Won
After falling behind early, the Cubs came through with the longball to retake the lead for good. Their three home runs on the night have tied them with the Los Angeles Dodgers for most bombs in the National League (19).
Kris Bryant had a tough day at the plate, but flashed the leather at third base. Bryant made two sensational diving stops to save extra-base hits, including the one for the game’s final out.
After KC scored the game’s first run on a flare RBI single by Adalberto Mondesi in the 2nd inning, Willson Contreras singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Jason Heyward then hit a drive to the right field bleachers to put the Cubs ahead for good.
With runners at second and third and one away in the top of the 9th, Kyle Ryan induced a groundout to second base and traded a run for the second out of the inning.
Stats that Matter
- Hendricks returned to form, allowing two runs on seven hits over 7.0 IP, striking out three KC batters.
- All of the Cubs’ runs came on longballs (Heyward, Contreras and Jason Kipnis).
- Craig Kimbrel continues to struggle. He entered the game with a three-run lead in the 9th inning and gave up two hits. Both runners allowed came in to score. Final line: 2 H; 2 ER and 1 K in 0.1 IP.
- David Ross was aggressive with his use of the bench. Victor Caratini entered the game in the place of Steven Souza Jr. to face Tyler Zuber. After doubling to lead off the 7th inning, Caratini left for pinch runner Albert Almora Jr.
The Cubs continued their slugging ways, scoring just enough runs to hang on for their fifth straight victory. Their 9-2 record is the best in the National League.
The Cubs hit the road starting with two games in Kansas City to close out the four-game set against the Royals. Yu Darvish (1-1, 3.70 ERA) takes the ball on Wednesday at 7:05pm CT versus rookie Kris Bubic (0-1, 4.50 ERA). You can listen on 670 The Score or watch on Marquee Sports Network.