Hendricks holds own in rotation's friendly competition

Hendricks holds own in rotation's friendly competition

CHICAGO -- Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks watched teammates Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester dominate the Dodgers earlier this week. Then he tried to mimic them.

Hendricks (4-4) allowed two runs on three hits, striking out six and walking one over eight innings as the Cubs denied the Dodgers, 7-2, on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Cubs starting pitchers have allowed six earned runs in their last 48 1/3 innings.

"It's definitely contagious when guys are doing well, but there's definitely competitiveness as well, friendly competition," Hendricks said. "It fuels all of us. We see one guy go out there and dominate, the next one in line wants to go do it. We've just got a lot of good competitors in the rotation. When everybody is pitching well, it makes it fun."

Hendricks, who fell short of throwing a second complete game in as many starts, said he felt he could have remained in for the ninth, but he was removed after throwing 101 pitches.

Hendricks on win over Dodgers

"I felt strong," Hendricks said. "I felt good, but with over 100 last time, over 100 this time, it's been a while since I've done that. I haven't done it back to back in a long time. I felt strong. I've been preparing myself for it, but I'm fine with what happened."

Hendricks has flashed a wave of endurance in his last two starts after being unable to complete seven innings in each of his first eight starts this season.

"I've been throwing the ball better, mixing up speeds well," Hendricks said. "When you go deep into the game once or twice, then you learn how to do it and you're better at it. It's mainly just simplifying. When I'm out there later in the game, I'm still focusing on making good pitches, keeping it simple, not really letting all the outside forces creep in."

Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.