Chicago Cubs take opener behind masterful outing from Kyle Hendricks

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks tossed seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball as the Chicago Cubs did just enough to come away with a win Thursday night.

Just a few days ago, the a Chicago Cubs starting pitcher hadn’t seen the seventh inning all year. But with Kyle Hendricks‘ lights-out masterpiece Thursday night, Chicago starters have done so in three-straight outings.

That’s a recipe for success.

Chicago (12-10) got its best start to-date from its soft-tossing right-hander. Hendricks turned in seven scoreless frames, allowing just four hits and striking out five. He did not walk a single batter – and anything the Brewers managed against him came with two away in the inning.

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Over his last two starts, Hendricks has not walked a batter – while striking out 11. Suffice to say, he’s rolling as the season really gets moving here in late April.

The only run of the ballgame came in the bottom of the sixth, courtesy of Kyle Schwarber. The slugging outfielder belted his seventh home run of the year off Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson – a rocket into the seats in right.

Speaking of, the Brewers right-hander matched Hendricks pitch-for-pitch all night. He departed after seven innings of five-hit ball. Unfortunately for Anderson, one of those five hits left the yard.

Once Hendricks departed, Carl Edwards Jr. came on for the eighth. A drastic difference in velocity between the two hurlers kept the Milwaukee offense on its heels and the righty turned in an uneventful inning of work.

The Cubs went just 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position. Despite coming away with the win, the offensive performance was far from awe-inspiring. If they want to earn a series win this weekend, the bats need to kick it up a notch.

What Stood Out

Forget the 1-for-3 with a walk night at the plate. Albert Almora once again showed why he holds the starting center field job for this team.

Next: Let's just pump the brakes on this Machado rumor

What’s Next

Chicago and Milwaukee continue this four-game set Friday afternoon at Wrigley.

Yu Darvish takes the ball looking for his first win as a Cub. Left-hander Brent Suter opposes him for the Brewers. First pitch is at 1:20 p.m. CT.