Kyle Hendricks looks to duplicate previous outing for Chicago Cubs

Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Veteran southpaw Jon Lester pitched his second complete game as a member of the Chicago Cubs as they surged past the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday evening. Today, right-hander Kyle Hendricks will take on L.A.’s 19-year-old rookie, Julio Urias.

Lester turned in his best performance of the season by dominating the Dodgers lineup after he gave up a lead-off home run to Enrique Hernandez. Hernandez turned on the second pitch of the game, sending it out to deep left center to give his starter an early lead.

Last season’s National League Rookie of the Year, Kris Bryant, hammered a two-run shot which turned out to be the game-winning hit as the Cubs (36-15) handed the Dodgers (28-26) another frustrating loss.

Taking the mound this afternoon for the home team will be 26-year-old right-hander, Kyle Hendricks.

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Hendricks (3-4, 2.93 ERA), like Lester, was absolutely lights out in his previous performance against the Philadelphia Phillies this past Thursday.

Joe Maddon‘s young right-hander held the Phillies to one earned run on five hits, one hit batter, and seven strikeouts in all nine innings of work to pick up his third victory of the season. It was his second career complete game.

Hopefully, he’ll be able to use his fastball to set up his strikeout pitch, the changeup. So far this year, Hendricks has posted a 45/12 K/BB ratio in nine starts for the first-place Chicago Cubs.

He’ll find himself in a battle with the Dodgers top pitching prospect, Urias. Urias (0-0, 10.13 ERA) made his big league debut for Los Angeles last Friday and was chased from the game in 2 2/3 innings by the New York Mets.

New York jumped all over him for three earned runs on five hits while he issued four walks and recorded three strikeouts. Los Angeles optioned him back to their Triple-A affiliate only to call him back up earlier this week to make this start on the North Side of Chicago.

Next: Lester hurls complete game

Urias will definitely have his hands full with this lineup that leads first base, second base, shortstop, and third base in voting when it comes to the All-Star game. Outfielder Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Jake Arrieta, and Jon Lester are expected to make the National League All-Star team as well.

First pitch for today’s game is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. central time and will air live on CSN Chicago, 670 The Score. Here’s how both teams lineup: