Sports

/

ArcaMax

Cubs extend their winning streak to 4 behind Alec Mills' 7 innings of 3-hit ball in a 2-0 victory over the Royals

Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

CHICAGO -- During the offseason after the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series, their trade with the Kansas City Royals for closer Wade Davis at the winter meetings grabbed most of the attention.

A low-profile trade completed shortly before spring training in 2017 is starting to pay off for the Cubs.

Alec Mills, 28, who took over as the fifth starter in place of the injured Jose Quintana last month, pitched seven innings of three-hit ball Monday night to lift the Cubs to a 2-0 victory over the Royals at damp and windy Wrigley Field.

Kris Bryant, who missed the two previous games because of a stomachache, added insurance with his first home run of the season in the seventh as the Cubs (8-2) extended their winning streak to four games.

Mills has stabilized the back end of the rotation by allowing two runs on five hits in 13 innings over two starts. His performance Monday lowered the rotation's ERA to 1.95.

As he did in his first start in Cincinnati, Mills changed speeds effectively. He induced nine groundouts and retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced.

Mills spent five seasons in the Royals organization before they dealt him to the Cubs before the 2017 season for outfielder Donnie Dewees.

The Royals put runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, but Mills found his groove and didn't allow a hit after Adalberto Mondesi singled with one out in the second.

Mills received defensive support in the fourth. Third baseman David Bote, who was positioned at shortstop as part of a shift, charged to his right and made a strong, accurate throw to first to retire Alex Gordon.

 

Mondesi drew a walk, but a strong throw by Willson Contreras and tag by Javier Baez nailed Mondesi on a steal attempt to end the inning.

With two out in the seventh, Mondesi tried to bunt for a hit, but Bote charged and made an off-balance throw for the final out.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the fifth but settled for a sacrifice fly by Baez off left-hander Danny Duffy, who limited the Cubs to three hits in six innings.

The start of the game was delayed by 16 minutes because of rain.

(c)2020 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.