Cubs observations: Kyle Hendricks pitches deep, Ian Happ is back

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Observations: Hendricks pitches deep, Happ’s bat is back originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs beat the Tigers 5-1 Sunday, winning a road series for the first time this season.

Here are 10 observations from the game:

  1. Cubs outfielder Ian Happ showed his bat was back. Happ returned from the 10-day injured list on Saturday and went 0-for-5. But on Sunday, he logged three hits and two RBI .

  2. Switch-hitting Happ’s first three hits, including a home run, came hitting from the right side. The home run was his third of the season and first batting righty.

  3. Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks gave up back-to-back singles in the first inning for an inauspicious start to the game. But he induced a double play ball to get out of the inning.

  4. Hendricks was dominant after that frame, throwing a season-high eight-plus innings. It was the most innings any Cubs pitcher had thrown in a start this season. Hendricks threw eight shutout innings before putting two runners on in the ninth and leaving the game. It was his second start of seven or more innings this season – the first was a seven-inning double header against the Dodgers. He’s the only Cubs pitcher with multiple seven-inning outings this season.

  5. Hendricks was charged with one run after he left the game, when what would have been a game-ending double play was overturned in review.

  6. Hendricks recorded a season-high eight strikeouts and a career-high 31 called strikes.

  7. Hendricks going deep into the game was even more important after the bullpen’s workload Saturday. The Cubs used seven relivers in the extra-innings loss.

  8. The bottom half of the Cubs batting order did damage with a sixth-inning rally. Matt Duffy started it, hitting a leadoff infield single. Then, David Bote drove him home with a double. Nico Hoerner hit a sacrifice fly to bring Bote across the plate. Happ’s solo homer was the cherry on top.

  9. Anthony Rizzo’s bat continued to heat up Sunday. The Cubs first baseman logged his second straight multi-hit game.

  10. The Cubs placed right-hander Alec Mills on the 10-day IL Sunday with a lower back strain.

On Deck: The Cubs open a four-game home series against the Nationals on Monday, a reunion with Kyle Schwarber and Jon Lester. Cubs right-hander Adbert Alzolay takes the mound for the Cubs, with Lester on the bump for the Nats.