Behind yet another strong starting pitcher performance and home runs from Jason Kipnis, Jason Heyward and Willson Contreras, the Chicago Cubs racked up their fifth straight win with a triumph over the Kansas City Royals at Wrigley Field Tuesday.
Kyle Hendricks bounced back from a rough outing last week with a strong turn Tuesday, with seven innings of shutout work for the Cubs. He struck out three hitters and allowed just two earned runs, picking up his second win of the regular season.
The Cubs were just as dangerous at the plate, as their offense continued its great play of late. Heyward smacked his first home run of the season in the second inning of the contest, while Kipnis and Contreras each popped their second long balls of the campaign to help the Cubs to victory.
The win continued a strong start to the season for the Cubs, as they’re now 9-2 and remain the only team in the National League Central to have an above .500 record.
Things didn’t start out great for the Cubs, as Adalberto Mondesi hit an RBI single to left field in the second inning to give the Royals an early lead. That lead was quickly erased in the bottom of the frame, as Heyward turned on a pitch and deposited it into the right field bleachers to put the Cubs ahead 2-1.
The Cubs added two more runs in the fourth inning when Kipnis, starting for the fourth time for the Cubs, racked up his fourth extra base hit in those games, smacking a home run to right-center field to extend Chicago’s advantage to 4-1.
Former Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler lifted a sacrifice fly to left field in the fifth inning to cut the lead to 4-2, but the Cubs’ pitching staff managed to hold Kansas City at bay. Contreras added a home run in the eighth inning, and that proved critical as Craig Kimbrel wasn't able to find his form in the ninth, with two runs ultimately charged to the Cubs' closer as the Royals closed the gap to 5-4.
With the game-tying run on third, Kyle Ryan got Bubba Starling to scald a ball right at Kris Bryant, who calmly threw him out at first to end the game and give the Cubs a perfect 5-0 homestand.
The Cubs and Royals will now head to Kansas City for two more games beginning on Wednesday night. The Cubs, starting a three-city road trip that will take them through St. Louis and Cleveland as well, will send Yu Darvish to the hill at Kauffman Stadium.