PHOENIX, Ariz. – Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks kept pounding the curveball he’s emphasizing in camp this spring, mostly with success, before the Brewers came all the way back from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Cubs 7-5 in a Cactus League game Sunday at American Family Fields.
Hendricks allowed just one run before getting “fatigued a little bit” in the fourth and allowing a bloop single to Jesus Aguilar and walk to Cory Spangenberg leading off the inning.
He wound up charged with three runs after Dakota Mekkes took over and gave up a three-run homer to the next batter, Orlando Arcia.
After opening the spring with four commanding, scoreless appearances, lefty Brian Duensing gave up back-to-back homers to Ben Gamel and Tyler Saladino in the sixth for the tying and go-ahead runs.
Saladino’s mammoth shot landed on the concourse above the berm in left-center.
Spring training results might not mean much, but Cubs catcher Willson Contreras his hitting the ball hard this month, including an RBI double ripped into the left-field corner in the first.
Contreras, who was also hit by a pitch and struck out in the game, leads the big-league Cubs with 16 total bases this spring, including two homers and three doubles.
He’s 5-for-his-last-10. Contreras also threw out two runners on the bases – including Jacob Nottingham at second after a pitch squirted all the way to the grass behind home plate in the fifth.
Hoerner streak ends
Infield prospect Nico Hoerner, who entered the game defensively in the seventh, lined out to center in the eighth inning.
That ended a streak of eight consecutive plate appearances reaching base for the 2018 first-round draft pick on loan from minor-league camp.
Keeping it sim-ple
Jose Quintana will make his next scheduled start Tuesday in a simulated game in the early afternoon, avoiding the late start of the Cubs’ game that night against the Reds.
Day off Monday. Reds at Cubs, Mesa, 9:05 p.m. Tuesday, cubs.com radio, TBA vs. Tyler Chatwood.