Kyle Hendricks had three hits, including a two-run double, and pitched into the ninth inning to lead the surging Chicago Cubs over the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 Tuesday night.
The Cubs are 10-2 in May, their best start to the month since 1977. Chicago has won 22 of 28 games for the NL’s best record at 25-14.
Hendricks (3-4) has found his stride in May, winning all three starts while allowing only one earned run. He gave up a pair of singles and Joey Votto’s homer in the fourth inning, but those were Cincinnati’s only hits. He left after walking Nick Senzel to open the ninth. Steve Cishek got the last two outs for his third save in four chances.
Hendricks started his May surge with an 81-pitch, 4-0 complete game win over St. Louis and followed it by allowing one unearned run in eight innings of a win over Miami.
His RBI double put the Cubs in line for yet another win over Cincinnati. The liner over Senzel’s head in center field — only his second hit of the season — made it 2-0 in the second. He added two more singles and lined out.
The Cubs are 52-25 against the Reds over the last five seasons, the best mark by any team against a division foe.
Willson Contreras had a sacrifice fly off Tanner Roark (3-2) for Chicago’s other run. Kris Bryant had three hits and extended his career-best streak to 23 consecutive games reaching base safely. Javier Baez singled twice and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games, the longest by a Cub this season.
The Reds came into the game with the NL’s worst team batting average at .216. They were no-hit in Oakland by Mike Fiers a week earlier.
Cubs: Anthony Rizzo was out of the lineup for the second straight game with a stiff back that was improving but could sideline him for another game. “He’s doing better, but he’s not quite yet in the right spot,” manager Joe Maddon said.
Reds: Jesse Winker was back in left field after missing two games last week with a sore left thigh. He pinch hit on Sunday and grounded into an out.
Cubs: Yu Darvish (2-3) walked six batters in four innings of a 4-1 win over Miami in his last start. He’s 2-0 in three career starts against the Reds with a 1.93 ERA.
Reds: Sonny Gray (0-4) makes his ninth try to get his first win with the Reds, who got him in a trade with the Yankees. The Reds are 2-6 in his starts.