Yu Darvish’s seven strong innings against Royals help Cubs win sixth straight

At 10-2, the Cubs are tied with the Twins for the majors’ best record. Darvish’s outing is the rotation’s sixth consecutive quality start.

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Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish delivers during the first inning Wednesday.

Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish delivers during the first inning Wednesday.

Orlin Wagner/AP

The Cubs are putting the league on notice that they aren’t taking this 60-game season lightly. They continued to keep the good times going in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over the Royals for their sixth win in a row.

The role the rotation has played getting them off to such a hot start can’t be understated. The starters have been the engine that has carried the Cubs to a 10-2 record, tied for the best in baseball. Whether they have a large lead or a small one, it hasn’t changed the way they have got out to do the job.

Yu Darvish (2-1) kept the line moving for the staff, tossing seven innings of one-run ball on just five hits. He struck out four and walked one. Darvish’s five-hit performance made it six consecutive quality starts for the rotation.

“Another great start from him,” manager David Ross said. “He mixed his pitches well. We played some really good pitches well and then he settled in. It looked like he really took off once we got the lead. Pounding the zone, mixing his pitches really well. I just loved the finish the last couple of innings, especially the last two. Just blowing some real fastballs by guys. You could just see him hit that second gear late in the game.”

With their bullpen trying to find their way, the Cubs’ offense has done a solid job of adding on insurance runs late in games. Javy Baez and Willson Contreras continued that trend by adding two-out RBI singles in the eighth after a Royals error with two outs. Victor Caratini and Kris Bryant would add two more RBI singles after a second Royals error in the ninth.

“I’m really proud of our guys for capitalizing on a mistake,” Ross said. “That’s something that a good team does. Really good at-bats there after a small mistake with a lead late in the game where you could just cash it in.”

Hottovy enjoying time in KC from afar

It’s not the usual trip home for Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy. The Kansas City native isn’t making any special trips while the team is in town and continues to follow its health and safety protocols.

“I’m not leaving the hotel,” Hottovy said. “I told my family and friends and everybody here. I’d love to see him. I’m only here for two days. I know my mom would want to have lunch and do all those things and see my sister. My sister is still a third-grade teacher. She just had a brand new baby a couple of weeks ago. How much would I love to go get to see her and my nephew? Can’t do it. I just can’t.

“That’s what we’re in for. We all signed up for this to make sure that this could work. We all have to make those kinds of sacrifices. I would love to get to see him. But right now, this is our home.”

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