Home News Kyle Hendricks pitches 7 2/3 no-hit innings vs. Giants

Kyle Hendricks pitches 7 2/3 no-hit innings vs. Giants

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Chicago Cubs, mired in fourth place in the National League Central, badly needed a series victory against the Giants. They earned that Saturday, but nearly got much more.

Right-hander Kyle Hendricks carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and was four outs away from throwing the first in the Majors this year before Giants left fielder Mitch Haniger smashed a full-count pitch into the gap in left-center field for a clean two-out double.

Hendricks got a quick third out and got to watch Julian Merryweather finish a combined one-hitter and a 4-0 victory, giving the Cubs a chance to sweep the series Sunday and return to Chicago with a respectable 5-5 trip through San Diego, Anaheim and San Francisco.

Hendricks’ lone blemish before the Haniger hit was a one-out walk to Michael Conforto in the second inning.

The 33-year-old career-long Cub was attempting to throw the 18th no-hitter in franchise history in just his fourth start of the season after missing nearly 11 months with a torn capsule in his right shoulder.

Pitch count became an issue for Hendricks even though Giants hitters were aggressive and made many early-count outs. Hendricks threw 81 pitches through seven innings. He had not gone beyond six innings or 86 pitches in any of his first three starts coming off rehab.

But the first two Giants hitters in the eighth inning aided Hendricks by grounding out on a total of four pitches.

The outcome of the game did not seem in doubt.

Matt Mervis homered off Jakob Junis to lead off the third inning. Christopher Morel broke an 0-for-22 with a homer against Junis to start the fourth and added a two-out, two-run single in the fifth to chase Junis.

Mike Tauchman had a key hit in the inning, a double that put two runners in scoring position with one out, but he helped Hendricks much more in center field.

With one out in the third, Tauchman was shaded toward left-center when Brandon Crawford hit a drive to the warning track right of straightaway center. Tauchman robbed Crawford of what looked like extra bases with a lunging catch, holding on to the ball as he crashed onto the dirt.

Tauchman played for the Giants in 2021 and is remembered in San Francisco for a single catch, when he leaped over the left-field wall at Dodger Stadium with two outs in the ninth inning of a tie game to rob Albert Pujols of what looked for all the world to be a walk-off home run.

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