Kyle Hendricks pitched a season-high eight innings in dominant fashion leading the Iowa Cubs (21-16) to a 2-0 victory over the Round Rock Express (19-20) on Thursday night at Principal Park. Iowa maintains its position atop the PCL American North Division with the win.
Thursday night was all about Hendricks (4-3). Making his eighth start of the season Hendricks produced his best outing of the season. Hendricks scattered three hits over eight innings while walking zero batters and striking out a season-high 11 batters. Hendricks lowered his ERA from 3.64 down to 3.06.
Facing rehabbing lefty Joe Saunders (0-1), the Iowa offense produced a few timely hits. Iowa took a 1-0 lead in the second when Jonathan Mota singled to center on a 1-2 pitch, scoring Christian Villanueva who had doubled earlier in the inning.
Josh Vitters added to the lead in the third. After Arismendy Alcantara led off the inning with a double to left, Vitters ground ball single to left brought home Alcantara extending the lead to 2-0.
From there Iowa pitching dominated. Hendricks was removed after throwing 100 pitches, 71 for strikes, and gave way to Blake Parker. Parker retired the Express in order in the ninth to pick up his seventh save of the season.
Alcantara and Matt Szczur paced Iowa with two hits each.
Game two of the series is Friday night at Principal Park.