CHICAGO -- The Cubs' Kyle Hendricks knows exactly what Lucas Giolito was going through on Sunday, and he was impressed at how the White Sox starter was able to stay in the game despite himself.It's hard to pick the winner in the Cubs' 5-3 loss to the White Sox on
CHICAGO -- The Cubs' Kyle Hendricks knows exactly what Lucas Giolito was going through on Sunday, and he was impressed at how the White Sox starter was able to stay in the game despite himself.
It's hard to pick the winner in the Cubs' 5-3 loss to the White Sox on Sunday at Wrigley Field if you only looked at the pitching lines of the two starters. Hendricks gave up four runs (three earned) and did not walk a batter over six innings. Giolito issued seven free passes over 5 2/3 innings, threw three wild pitches and hit a batter. Of his 100 pitches, half were strikes. And Giolito got the win.
"I've had games like that and you go out and you have nothing," said Hendricks, who did record his fourth straight quality start. "He really battled through it and got better as the game went on. It was good to see from a young guy. He made some tough at-bats for us. He was effectively wild at the start. His stuff was moving. He dialed it in late."
The White Sox ended the Cubs' five-game win streak and finally reached double digits in victories with the decision. Matt Davidson smacked a solo homer in the second and hit a tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon wasn't concerned about bragging rights after capturing two of three against their crosstown rivals.
"We're just trying to win series," Maddon said. "It doesn't matter who we're playing. I really like their team on the field, and I think there's a lot of offensive talent there."
The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the first on Javier Baez's two-run single, and Ian Happ hit a tie-breaking RBI double in the fourth on the one-year anniversary of his promotion to the big leagues. Happ was using a pink bat, part of Major League Baseball's "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative on Mother's Day. Happ didn't get to use a pink bat a year ago; they didn't arrive in St. Louis in time for his debut.
Hendricks didn't use one on Sunday, but that had nothing to do with his outing.
"I felt I threw better," Hendricks said. "It was better than my last start -- fastball command was better, good changeups. A couple bad pitches today, and they got hit. It's just the nature of the game. You just have to stick with it and stick with the routine."
It's the second straight start in which Hendricks hasn't walked a batter. Giolito, on the other hand, admitted it was a battle.
"Grind is the key word," Giolito said. "Obviously, not really in sync. Just trying to make pitches the best that I can. The one thing that was unwavering was my confidence in myself. I knew that if I executed the next pitch, they were going to get themselves out. It was one of those really good team victories."
Despite the loss, the Cubs have outscored opponents, 53-20, in their last six games.
"I feel pretty confident in our offense," Addison Russell said. "We haven't hit that spark. We're playing some pretty good baseball now. I can only imagine when we all click."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Start me up: The Cubs were on the run in the first. Giolito walked Benjamin Zobrist on four pitches to start the inning and one out later, he moved up on two wild pitches. Anthony Rizzo then walked and Willson Contreras hit a grounder to first baseman Jose Abreu, who threw home and Omar Narvaez's tag got Zobrist. Baez singled off a 3-0 pitch from Giolito to drive in Rizzo and Contreras and take a 2-0 lead.
The Cubs now have scored 34 runs in the first, the most of any inning this season.
"Giolito did a good job staying off our barrel for the most part," Rizzo said. "We didn't hit him too well. We put pressure on him but came up short."
A misstep: Kyle Schwarber and Russell walked to open the fourth. Happ followed with an RBI double to go ahead, 3-2. But Russell was caught in a rundown trying to advance on Hendricks' grounder for the second out.
"It was just a bad read," Russell said. "I was over-aggressive and wanted to score. It was a hard-hit ball by Kyle. You either go one way or the other way. I chose the wrong way."
Added Maddon: "He was held up by Schwarber in front of him [on the double]. There's nobody out, so they're not going to be as aggressive just in case the ball is caught. You want to be able to tag up and advance. Addison might have been close to second, but he was concerned about passing up Schwarber. I think that's what I saw."
Relief work: Reliever Brian Duensing started the White Sox seventh and walked Tim Anderson, who moved up on a sacrifice by Narvaez and scored on Leury Garcia's single. The run was the first off Duensing this season, ending a string of 12 scoreless innings. It was the longest streak among qualifying relievers. It also have the White Sox an insurance run.
Rizzo, Contreras, Baez and Schwarber each stole a base in the first inning, the latter two coming on a double steal. The Cubs are the second team in the Majors and first National League team to steal four bases in one inning this season. It marked the first time the Cubs have swiped four in one inning since April 28, 2015.
HE SAID IT
"Regardless of the results, even during the losing streak, we were locked in and putting together good at-bats. It's one of those things where it just has to come together. It's the nature of the game, and sometimes you just get beat. I think we just run into some teams that get the best of us. We're playing good baseball now. If we stick with it, we'll end up where we need to be." -- Hendricks on the Cubs, who had a five-game winning streak, followed by a five-game losing skid, followed by a five-game winning streak.
The Cubs and Braves will play a makeup game on Monday, and celebrate Jackie Robinson Day as well. Jose Quintana gets the start. The lefty is 2-0 with a 4.70 ERA in three home starts. He's coming off a win over the Marlins in which he gave up one run over six innings. Quintana has three quality starts out of his seven outings. This is a makeup of April 15's rainout, which is when the rest of Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day. Players will wear No. 42 jerseys. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. CT from Wrigley Field. Julio Teheran gets the nod for the Braves.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.