Cubs’ Hendricks just keeps rolling right along

SHARE Cubs’ Hendricks just keeps rolling right along

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks allowed two runs in seven innings and matched his career high with 12 strikeouts Saturday against the Cardinals. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks wasn’t involved in the decision in the Cubs’ 8-4 loss Saturday to the St. Louis Cardinals, but he continued on a pace that is making him one of the best pitchers in baseball this season.

He tied his career high with 12 strikeouts in seven innings and stretched his personal scoreless streak at Wrigley Field to 28⅓ innings before Brandon Moss homered in the sixth. He yielded another homer to Jedd Gyorko in the seventh.

‘‘Just two changeups that were up,’’ Hendricks said. ‘‘My changeup was good, my curveball was working and [so was] my fastball.’’

Hendricks has a 1.31 ERA in 13 home games this season. Overall, he is 11-7 with a 2.19 ERA.

He’s the fourth Cubs pitcher in the last 25 years to allow three earned runs or fewer in 15 consecutive starts, joining Jake Arrieta (2015-16), Mike Morgan (1992) and Frank Castillo (1994-95).

‘‘He was outstanding,’’ manager Joe Maddon said. ‘‘The [number of] strikeouts is a little surprising, but it tells you how much his stuff was on today.’’

RBI man

Shortstop Addison Russell became the third player on the team with at least 70 RBI when his two-run homer in the second gave him 71 for the season.

His 14th homer also tied him for the most by a Cubs shortstop since Alex Gonzalez hit 20 in 2003.

‘‘I think it has to do with the opportunities in the 5-hole [in the lineup],’’ he said. ‘‘Guys ahead of me are getting on base. I just want to get them over. If we score, it’s a plus.’’

Ready to rehab

A day after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, reliever Pedro Strop was walking with crutches in the clubhouse and saying he was feeling better.

Strop said his rehab will begin immediately, though he still is expected to be out between four and six weeks.

Meanwhile, reliever Hector Rondon (sore triceps) might return Sunday, Maddon said.

Rest makes best

The bench has been a key component of the Cubs’ success, and Maddon said he thinks it’s because bench players don’t play every day.

‘‘That’s the part that some people sometimes misinterpret,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s almost perfect the way you’re able to dole out the workweek. The National League game allows us to use these guys daily, even if they don’t start.

‘‘There’s also something to be said for not playing someone every day to promote their development, as well as their performance.’’

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