Kyle Hendricks flashes ‘don’t walk’ sign again as Cubs beat Rox
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Kyle Hendricks pitched another 4⅔ innings without a walk, giving him 13⅔ innings without a free pass, as the Cubs beat the Rockies 9-6 in a Cactus League game Monday at Salt River Fields. He has 14 strikeouts. “That’s a big focus for me,” he said. “That means my fastball command [is there]. My fastball command was much better [than the last start].”
Out of contract options and battling for what might be the final roster spot, outfielder Matt Szczur had a huge game. He went 3-for-4 with a homer to left in the eighth and had a long running catch at the wall to end the fourth and strand two runners. He also reached on a bunt single leading off the fourth. He took second on a throwing error on the play, advanced to third on a fly ball to center and scored on another fly to center. Overall, he’s 12-for-31 (.387) with the homer, two triples and a double.
La Stella battling
Infielder Tommy La Stella — Szczur’s competition for the last spot if the Cubs keep 13 pitchers, as expected — started at third base. He made a pair of sharp plays, including a diving stop to his left and the throw for the out, but he also waived at a hot grounder a foot to his left that was ruled a single and drove in a run. Batting behind Szczur, La Stella followed Szczur’s homer with a double off the wall in the opposite-field gap. He went 1-for-4 and is 5-for-22 overall.
Schwarber in left
Leadoff slugger Kyle Schwarber singled home a run in the third. The work-in-progress left fielder also made a running basket catch of a fly ball to the gap in the fourth.
Day off Tuesday. Wednesday: Cubs at Reds, Goodyear, 8:05 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, Ryan Williams vs. Scott Feldman.