Hendricks dominates, Bryant homers as Cubs beat Indians 7-1

Jun 22, 2021, 8:20 AM | Updated: 10:59 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Hendricks isn’t all that interested in labels. The results are what matters to him, and he sure is on quite a roll.

Hendricks dominated over six scoreless innings to win his eighth straight start, Kris Bryant homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 7-1 Tuesday night to avoid a two-game sweep.

Willson Contreras and Patrick Wisdom also went deep, and the Cubs won for only the third time in nine games.

Hendricks (10-4) extended the best streak of his career and the longest by a Cubs pitcher since Jake Arrieta won nine consecutive starts to bridge the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

The right-hander scattered four hits and struck out five without a walk. He also tied Cleveland’s Aaron Civale for the major league lead in wins.

“I feel pretty good, but there’s still more left in there,” Hendricks said. “Last start and this start, mentally, is the best I’ve been all year. But again, it’s just putting it all together.”

Hendricks hasn’t lost since Pittsburgh beat him on May 9. His ERA has plummeted from 6.23 to 3.84 in that span. And if there were any doubts about whether the Cubs had a true ace after trading Yu Darvish to San Diego in the offseason, Hendricks is doing what he can to erase them — whether he cares about that tag or not.

“We don’t really love the labels,” Hendricks said. “I really just want to be that consistent guy every fifth day, every time I take the ball, so my teammates know what they’re gonna get.”

OFFENSE DELIVERS

It didn’t hurt that that the Cubs perked up at the plate. Held to 14 runs over the previous eight games, they broke out in a big way.

Bryant — who was 7 for 57 over the previous 17 games — made it 1-0 in the fourth when he connected against rookie Eli Morgan (0-2) for his first home run since June 4 at San Francisco. The drive to about the second row in center field ended a career-worst stretch of 48 at-bats without an extra-base hit.

“I feel like he’s in a really comfy place,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “I get to watch these guys so much, you can see when their timing is on and off. It looked like (Monday) he got back to the guy that was taking really good swings and seeing the ball really well.”

The Cubs broke the game open with four in the sixth.

Joc Pederson chased Morgan with a two-run double with none out. Javier Báez — pulled the previous night by Ross because of a baserunning lapse — lined a ground-rule RBI double to left against Nick Sandlin. Contreras then singled in a run to make it 5-0. He and Wisdom added back-to-back solo homers in the eighth.

Cleveland, which had won six of eight, got its run in the top half on a forceout by Amed Rosario after loading the bases with none out.

SOLID START

Morgan gave up four runs and four hits in his third big league start. The 25-year-old right-hander struck out nine and walked none.

“I was cruising through five,” Morgan said. “In the blink of an eye, I’m out of the game with three more runs on the board. That’s something I have to continue to get better at, making sure that I have a game plan for each inning, for each batter and finding a way to be my sharpest from pitch 1.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Civale appears headed to the injured list because of soreness in the middle finger on his pitching hand. He is scheduled to be examined by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham on Wednesday. “My guess is we will need to make a roster move,” manager Terry Francona said. “Because of tomorrow’s day off, we can let him get looked at first. But I think we’re prepared that he’s going to miss some time.” … C Roberto Pérez (fractured ring finger) is set to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday.

Cubs: Wisdom was examined by the trainer after checking his swing in the second inning, then lined to third.

UP NEXT

Indians: Cleveland opens a four-game series at Minnesota on Thursday, with RHP J.C. Mejia (1-2, 6.11 ERA) pitching for the Indians and RHP José Berríos (7-2, 3.56) going for the Twins.

Cubs: RHP Zach Davies (4-4, 4.66) looks to bounce back as the Cubs open a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. Davies was pounded for eight runs in a loss to Miami last week after delivering back-to-back scoreless outings in winning his previous two starts.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Uruguay's Luis Suarez sits on the bench during the World Cup group H soccer match between Ghana and...
Associated Press

Uruguay beats Ghana 2-0 at World Cup but both teams out

AL WAKRAH, Qatar (AP) — Uruguay and Luis Suarez were eliminated from the World Cup despite a 2-0 win over Ghana on Friday. The result also put Ghana out of the competition. Suarez played a key role in both first-half goals for Uruguay scored by Giorgian De Arrascaeta. Uruguay was in a position to go […]
1 day ago
South Korea's Hwang Hee-chan celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal during the World Cup grou...
Associated Press

South Korea advances at World Cup after stoppage-time winner

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — South Korea advanced to the round of 16 at the World Cup on the tiebreaker of goals scored after beating Portugal 2-1 Friday following a stoppage-time strike from Hwang Hee-chan. South Korea was heading out of the tournament until Son Heung-min led a length-of-the-field breakaway in the first minute of […]
1 day ago
In this photo provided by James Gasperotti, New Zealand driver Marcus Armstrong is shown at the Enz...
Associated Press

Ganassi adds another Kiwi in Armstrong to IndyCar lineup

Marcus Armstrong was a Scott Dixon fan his entire life and when he was 8, the aspiring young racer asked his fellow New Zealander to autograph a helmet visor that he hung on his bedroom wall. Next year, Armstrong will be Dixon’s teammate. Armstrong on Friday was named the fourth IndyCar driver in the Chip […]
1 day ago
FILE - Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper watches during warm ups before an NFL football game bet...
Associated Press

Panthers owner David Tepper scrutinized in criminal probe

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and his real estate company are the focus of a criminal investigation to see if they misused any public money in their failed effort to build a practice facility for the NFL team. The York County Sheriff’s Office said state agents and local prosecutors are aiding […]
1 day ago
In this handout photo from the U.S. Air Force, American service members participate in a live broad...
Associated Press

US forces monitor Mideast skies at Qatar base amid World Cup

AL-UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar (AP) — As World Cup fans throng stadiums across Qatar, about 8,000 American troops stationed just nearby watch over the airspace of the tumultuous Middle East from a major base run by this energy-rich nation. Built on a flat stretch of desert about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Qatari capital […]
1 day ago
FILE - Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker rushes against the Kansas City Chiefs during t...
Associated Press

Walker, Hutchinson meet again, this time with Jags, Lions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Travon Walker and Aidan Hutchinson will always be compared to one another. Same class. Same position. Same lofty expectations. The top two picks in the 2022 NFL draft will be on the same field for the first time as pros when Detroit hosts Jacksonville on Sunday, a matchup of 4-7 teams […]
1 day ago
Hendricks dominates, Bryant homers as Cubs beat Indians 7-1