Hendricks, Cubs edge Giants for fifth straight

AP Photo Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks delivers against the San Francisco Giants Thursday.

CHICAGO (AP) — Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Wrigley Field plays like two different ballparks depending on the elements.

His team is finding success in both versions.

Kyle Hendricks pitched seven sharp innings and Chicago won despite getting only two hits, edging the San Francisco Giants 1-0 Thursday for its fifth straight victory.

Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI single to help the NL Central leaders complete a three-game sweep. The Giants lost their fourth in a row.

A day after the Cubs won 12-11 in a game with seven home runs, there was a brisk breeze blowing in and the teams combined for just six hits.

“That’s what Wrigley Field is,” Rizzo said. “After a while, you just get used to it and you don’t really worry about it.”

“To win a 1-0 game is huge for us,” he said.

The Cubs are 44-19 at home this season, including 16-3 in the last 19 games.

Hendricks (9-9) allowed three hits, struck out seven and walked none. He has a 1.79 ERA in 11 home starts this season.

Relievers Brandon Kintzler, Kyle Ryan and Rowan Wick each got two outs to complete the four-hitter. Wick finished for his second save.

Cubs pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts without a walk.

“That’s huge,” Hendricks said. “You can’t give away free bases.”

Jeff Samardzija (9-10) gave up one run on two hits in seven innings against his former team.

“Kyle and I did the same thing,” he said. “The wind was blowing in, so we just kind of attacked them.”

Samardzija retired the first nine batters before Jason Heyward led off the fourth with a pop fly to short center. Kevin Pillar immediately began shading his eyes and lost it in the sun and the ball dropped in front of him for gift single.

With Heyward running, Nicholas Castellanos followed with a routine grounder to shortstop that Brandon Crawford booted for an error to put runners on first and second. Samardzija appeared on a verge of getting out of the jam when Kris Bryant bounced into a double play, but Rizzo followed with a liner to center for an RBI single.

“It’s hard to pitch a better game than what ‘Shark’ did today,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s a shame we couldn’t find a way to win that one for him.”

San Francisco’s best scoring chance came in the eighth. Crawford tripled off the right field wall with two outs against Kintzler. Without the wind, the ball might’ve been a game-tying homer.

Ryan, a left-hander, then came on to strike out pinch-hitter Austin Slater.