CHICAGO -- Kyle Hendricks extended his string of scoreless innings to 22 1/3 by following manager Joe Maddon's message of keeping things simple.
On Friday in his first career start against the White Sox, Hendricks did not give up a run over seven innings in a 1-0 Cubs loss. The right-hander has not allowed a run since the fourth inning on June 24 against the Dodgers. Hendricks is the first Cubs starter to not give up a run in three consecutive starts since Ryan Dempster did so from June 5-July 14, 2012 over five outings.
"It starts with command -- command of all his pitches, command of his fastball, really locating well, and then his changeup has been very good," Maddon said. "He's just in a really nice rhythm right now. He really relies on location a lot, and it's been there."
Hendricks said the White Sox became more aggressive the second and third time through the lineup, and so he expanded his zone and "let them get themselves out." It worked.
"[I'm using] that mindset and mentality of taking it one pitch at a time and just making good pitches," Hendricks said. "I'm trying not to do too much and simplifying everything."
But he also was part of a wacky double play in the third, one of five that the Cubs hit into in the game. Hendricks was on second with one out in the inning when Dexter Fowler flied out to right. Hendricks was focused on third-base coach Gary Jones, and he had reached third when the umpires signaled that Avisail Garcia had caught the ball, even though it came out of his glove as the outfielder rolled over. Garcia threw toward first, but the ball skipped away. Catcher Tyler Flowers retrieved it and threw to Alexei Ramirez at second for the force on Hendricks, who didn't run back.
"I wasn't even looking [at Garcia]," Hendricks said. "I was running and looking at [Jones]. He told me to stay there [at third]. He didn't know if [Garcia] caught it or not. It was kind of just confusion for everybody out there."
Maddon asked for a review of the entire play, but the call was confirmed and Hendricks was out. That was about the only thing that went wrong for the Cubs right-hander.
"It's definitely a tough one, and didn't fall in our favor," Hendricks said.