The Chicago Cubs’ shutout streak may have come to an end, but they continued their winning ways on Friday in a wind-blown triumph over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kris Bryant had a pair of hits and drove in a pair of runs in the game, and Kyle Hendricks pitched his best game of the season, striking out 11 batters and holding the Diamondbacks without a run in seven quality innings of work.
Merrill Kelly got roughed up for three earned runs and walked seven batters in 3.2 innings, and Matt Koch gave up a pair of earned runs as the Diamondbacks’ pitchers struggled.
The wind at Wrigley Field, which often gusted between 25 and 30 MPH during the game, played a big factor in the early going, as several balls evaded Diamondbacks fielders. One of them was a fly ball by Bryant to center field, which dropped between a quartet of fielders and allowed David Bote and Kyle Schwarber to score, making it a 2-0 game.
The Cubs extended their lead in the fourth inning thanks to Anthony Rizzo, who hit a slicing drive down the left field line that scored Daniel Descalso and left the first baseman standing on third with a triple.
Two more runs crossed the plate in the sixth, as Bryant scored on a wild pitch and Willson Contreras drove in Javier Báez with an RBI single to extend the Chicago lead to 5-0.
Despite getting hit by a line drive in the seventh inning, Hendricks cruised throughout the game, striking out 11 batters and continuing a dominant run of pitching by the Cubs’ starters. He ultimately left the game after the seventh, turning the keys over to the team’s bullpen.
Unfortunately for the Cubs’ pitchers, Brad Brach gave up a run in the ninth inning to end a streak of shutout baseball for the Cubs, but Pedro Strop closed out the game and gave the Cubs another victory.
The Cubs will look to keep up their run of quality play on Saturday afternoon when they rematch against the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. Yu Darvish will take the hill for the game, which is set to start at 1:20 p.m.