Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks struggles again, with Counsell saying Cubs need ‘better results'

Kyle Hendricks lasted just four innings on Sunday against the Miami Marlins, continuing a rough start to the season for the 34-year-old right-hander

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Kyle Hendricks is working through a rough stretch with the Chicago Cubs, and though there were signs of progress Sunday, he still struggled in another loss.

Hendricks lasted just four innings on Sunday against the Miami Marlins, with Chicago ultimately falling 6-3 for a series split.

He struck out five and walked none, but he was charged with four runs and six hits.

Manager Craig Counsell praised those signs of progress, but was blunt about the team's expectations for the veteran hurler.

"We need better results, frankly," he said. "I thought there was positive signs. There was no walks, there was five strikeouts. He limited the hard contact for the most part, but they strung together a good rally, and we’re still looking at four runs on the board after four innings."

Chicago had won six of eight heading into the finale of the four-game set against Miami, but Hendricks' performance is a growing concern. He has a 12.00 ERA through five starts, surrendering 28 runs and 37 hits in 21 innings.

“Kyle’s a good pitcher. He’s struggling. He struggled his first four starts," Counsell had said before the game. "It’s always ‘Why?’ is the next question, right? And there’s never simple answers to why. We just got to keep going, and Kyle’s got to keep going and try to figure it out.”

Hendricks worked a perfect first inning on Sunday, but Jesús Sánchez hit a 460-foot drive to center for a solo homer in the second.

Miami opened the fourth with four consecutive singles on five pitches, producing two runs. A fielder's choice grounder for Emmanuel Rivera drove in another run, giving the Marlins a 4-1 lead.

Hendricks threw a season-low 56 pitches, 44 for strikes. He hasn't pitched more than five innings in any of his five starts.

“He’s gone through, maybe not this particular stretch, but stretches where you’re not pitching the way you want to and struggling, and yet you figure it out," Counsell said, "and that’s what being a 10-year major league pitcher’s about.”

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