Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks carries no-hitter into 8th inning as Cubs beat Giants 4-0

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Comfortable with what he’s been seeing from Kyle Hendricks since the pitcher came off the injured list, manager David Ross was more than happy to let the Chicago Cubs’ one-time ace call his own game Saturday.

The way the outing turned out, Hendricks probably can expect to do it more often.

Hendricks didn’t allow a hit until Mitch Haniger doubled with two outs in the eighth inning, pitching the Cubs over the San Francisco Giants 4-0.

“He was so in control of his pitches," Ross said. "It was just a next-level conviction in every pitch with him in control of things.”

Hendricks (1-2) had faced one batter over the minimum, walking Michael Conforto with one out in the second, and had retired 19 batters in a row before Haniger hit a fastball 378 feet off the left-field wall on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. That ended the longest no-hit bid in the major leagues this season.

“He’s not going to blow you away with velocity, but the changeup makes his fastball play up a lot,” Haniger said. “He’s good and he mixes pitches all around the zone.”

Blake Sabol flied out on Hendricks’ next pitch.

“The last few starts it felt like I was catching my rhythm, making a lot of good pitches,” Hendricks said. “The rhythm today was just better. I got away with some stuff in the beginning then really hit my stride about the fourth or fifth inning. Still some things to improve and work on but definitely feeling good.”

Julian Merryweather retired three straight batters in the ninth, completing the one-hitter and giving the Cubs consecutive wins for the first time since May 29 and 30.

Christopher Morel homered and drove in three runs, and Matt Mervis also homered.

Hendricks started the season on the injured list with a strained right shoulder. He made his season debut May 25 and was making his fourth start. He threw 61 of 94 pitches for strikes, none over 89.4 mph,

The 33-year-old right-hander, in the 10th season of a big league career spent entirely with the Cubs, has six complete games and four shutouts in 226 starts.

Center fielder Mike Tauchman helped by making a diving, backhand catch to rob Brandon Crawford of an extra-base hit near the warning track in the third.

Both Ross and Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya called it one of the best grabs this season.

“Off the bat I didn’t think I had a shot at it, but that’s why you go hard, just in case,” Tauchman said.

Morel homered off Jakob Junis (3-3) leading off the third. The ball bounced off the top of the brick wall and back onto the field. Unaware of the ruling, Morel raced around the bases until second base umpire and crew chief Brian O’Nora signaled home run.

Morel added a two-out, two-run single in the fifth.

Giants opener John Brebbia, who also started Tuesday’s win over Colorado, pitched two hitless innings with one strikeout. Brebbia also survived getting hit by a 104.9 mph line drive off the bat of Ian Happ in the second.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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