Hendricks builds on run with eight strong vs. Rox

Hendricks builds on run with eight strong vs. Rox

DENVER -- Pitching at Coors Field didn't bother Kyle Hendricks.

Hendricks posted his longest outing in his fifth Major League start, leading the Cubs to a 6-2 win on Thursday over the Rockies. It was his fourth straight quality start as he gave up two runs over eight innings.

He saw the Rockies pound Jake Arrieta for nine runs on 13 hits on Wednesday, and knew Colorado came into the game batting .319 at home.

"You try to not think about it," Hendricks said. "With my game, if I throw my sinker down in the zone, it's really hard to hit that pitch out of the ballpark, even in this park. I try to stick to my game plan and keep the ball down, and if it's on the ground, it's not going to get out."

It worked. He retired the first nine batters before Charlie Blackmon singled to lead off the Rockies fourth. One out later, he scored on Justin Morneau's double that left fielder Chris Coghlan had trouble tracking down. Then Nolan Arenado was credited with a single on a ball that shortstop Starlin Castro overran. But Hendricks escaped by striking out Carlos Gonzalez on a 79 mph changeup and getting Corey Dickerson to fly out.

"What he did in this ballpark was pretty good," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "He was very efficient, executed his pitches, changed speeds well. He worked through some traffic [in the fourth] and was calm and just did a great job."

Hendricks is only the seventh pitcher to go eight innings at Coors Field this season.

"He carved us up," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Hendricks. "He's not going to light up the [radar] gun, but it looked like there was a lot of late movement. ... He was jamming guys at 87 to 89 miles per hour, but it was because it was running so late."

Hendricks now has given up four earned runs over his last 28 1/3 innings for a 1.27 ERA.

"His secondary pitches were really effective," Renteria said of the right-hander. "He's a very poised young man, and I think that he's the type of kid who, when he prepares for the test, he knows he'll do well. I hope he's making believers out of a lot of people."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.