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Mike Montgomery leaves strong impression before likely pen assignment

Montgomery pitched six strong innings and hit his first career home run Wednesday,

ATLANTA — Lefty Mike Montgomery finished off a 6-0 road trip for the Cubs with one of his best starts of the season – and what may be his last for a while.

Montgomery, who is expected to return to the bullpen when Kyle Hendricks returns from the disabled list after the weekend, took a no-hitter one out deep into the fifth inning and allowed just two in a six-inning performance for an 8-2 victory.

Maddon wouldn’t say what the club’s plans are with Montgomery, but there are no plans for a six-man rotation anytime soon. And Hendricks’ return, combined with last week’s acquisition of Jose Quintana, means all five starters are locked in.

“I haven’t really thought about anything going forward,” said Montgomery, who also hit his first career home run, off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. “It was just come out here and give this team a good quality start, and it went really well.”

Montgomery made two starts during the 6-0 trip through Baltimore and Atlanta, with the rotation going 5-0 with a combined 2.00 ERA – 5-0, 1.14 in the last five games.

Montgomery made eight starts filling in for the injured Hendricks, going 2-3 with a 5.13 ERA. He has a 2.50 ERA in 19 relief appearances (39 2/3 innings).

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