DETROIT — – Kyle Hendricks took a shutout into the ninth inning and the Chicago Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-1 on Sunday.
Hendricks (3-4) allowed eight hits and struck out a season-high eight in eight-plus innings without allowing a walk.
«When I threw my last bullpen a couple days ago, everything felt really sharp and I was able to put my pitches where I wanted them,» he said. «That gave me a lot of confidence coming into today. I could move in and out and avoid the center of the plate.»
Hendricks left after Harold Castro and Miguel Cabrera started the ninth with singles.
«Our bullpen has been grinding and we had to use them when we went extra innings yesterday,» Cubs manager David Ross said. «When you do that, you are counting on your top guy to give you some distance and that’s exactly what Kyle did for us today. He was great – he just floated a couple changeups in the ninth.»
Dan Winkler appeared to get Jonathan Schoop to hit into a game-ending double play with runners on the corners, but the call at first was overturned after a review, allowing Detroit to score its only run.
«Our guys get to play all nine innings, and I’m proud of the way they fight to the end,» Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. «But we wanted to win this game and win the series, and we didn’t get that done.»
Ian Happ had three hits, including a homer, and was aggressive on the bases as the Cubs won for the second time in six games.
Matthew Boyd (2-4) gave up four earned runs in six innings. He is 0-3 in his last five starts.
The Cubs scored in the third with some alert baserunning. With runners on first and second and one out, Kris Bryant beat out a possible 4-6-3 double play and Happ kept going from second, hustling home ahead of first baseman Jonathan Schoop’s throw to the plate.
«(Happ) was a big part of our success today, and I’m sure everyone will remember the homer, but that first run was a huge play,» Ross said. «That was a bang-bang play at first and he kept running, so we turn that into a run and give Kyle a chance to settle into the game.»
Happ made it 2-0 in the fourth with a two-out bloop over the infield, turning it into an RBI double when the Tigers didn’t cover second.
«When you’ve got a guy pitching that well against you, you can’t do anything to make it harder on yourself,» Hinch said. «There were a few times where we gave them an extra out or an extra 90 feet and it came back to hurt us.»
David Bote’s RBI double gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead in the sixth and he took third as right fielder Robbie Grossman’s throw home sailed over the cut-off man. Nico Hoerner drove him home with a sacrifice fly and Happ made it 5-0 with a solo homer.
The Cubs placed RHP Alec Mills (back) on the 10-day injured list and selected RHP Tommy Nance from Triple-A Iowa.
Cubs: Host the Washington Nationals on Monday in the first of a four-game series. Chicago’s Albert Alzolay (1-3, 4.50) is scheduled to start while Jon Lester (0-1, 2.25) returns to Wrigley Field for Washington. Lester pitched the last six years with the Cubs, helping them win the 2016 World Series.
«Our guys are excited and I’m sure Jon is excited,» Ross said. «You are always excited to see a guy you made history with, plus there will be some bragging rights on the line.»
Tigers: Travel to the Pacific Northwest to start a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners on Monday. Casey Mize (2-3, 4.19) is expected to start for the Tigers against Yusei Kikuchi (1-2, 4.30).
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