Chicago Cubs (53-70) at New York Mets (59-66), 12:10 p.m. (ET)
08/18/2014 9:33 AM
08/18/2014 9:35 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - He's neither the Kerry Wood nor Mark Prior of days past, but what Kyle Hendricks has been for the Chicago Cubs thus far is an effective rookie pitcher.
In fact, the youngster goes for his fourth consecutive victory on Monday afternoon when the Cubs wrap up a four-game visit to Citi Field with the finale against the New York Mets.
Hendricks gave up four runs in six innings against Cincinnati in his major league debut in July, but has since reached the seventh inning of five straight starts while compiling a stingy 1.01 earned run average.
He threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings against Milwaukee in his last outing on Tuesday while recording a 3-0 victory.
"Every time I'm going out there I just feel confident that I can make pitches," he said. "It grows each start, and it's going to keep growing hopefully.'"
Hendricks was acquired from the Texas organization in a 2012 trade for Ryan Dempster.
"The pace of the game is big for me," Hendricks said. "It keeps the infielders in the game and keeps them on their toes, and it's my pitching style."
Chicago has won five of Hendricks' six big league starts.
The Cubs scored their first win of the series with the Mets on Sunday when Starlin Castro led off the ninth inning with a decisive home run in a 2-1 win.
"He's having a very good season and we're glad to see that," manager Rick Renteria said.
New York has won just twice in the first six games of a seven-game homestand.
Veteran Bartolo Colon was set to start on Monday for the Mets, but the team announced early in the morning that he flew home to visit his critically ill mother.
With Colon away from the team for personal reasons, Carlos Torres will make the start instead.
The 31-year-old Torres is 5-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 53 games this season, all coming in relief. Nine of his 33 appearances last season were starts and today will mark the 16th start of his career.
Torres, a right-hander, is 3-0 with a 0.60 ERA in six lifetime meetings with the Cubs, including one start. He has limited them to one run over 15 innings.
On Sunday, Luis Valbuena singled in the Cubs' first run in the fourth, but the Mets tied it up in the bottom of the eighth on Curtis Granderson's single. Castro sent the first pitch of the ninth inning into the seats in right field for the go-ahead run.
Hector Rondon struck out a batter during a perfect ninth inning for Chicago en route to his 17th save of the season. Pedro Strop (2-4) gave up one unearned run on two hits in the eighth for the Cubs, but received the win.
Jenrry Mejia (5-6) took the loss for giving up the homer to Castro in the ninth.
Jake Arrieta struck out nine and allowed only two hits over seven scoreless innings for Chicago, but received a no-decision for his efforts as the Cubs ended a three-game skid.
Rafael Montero was in search of his first major-league win, but also did not factor in the decision, conceding just one run in 7 1/3 innings for the Mets.