Brett Cecil (5-5) pitched one inning and Roberto Osuna got two outs for this 20th save.
Dan Haren (9-9, 4.83 ERA) will attempt to extend Chicago’s 21-inning scoreless streak in the opener, though the veteran has labored in two starts since tossing seven innings in a 9-0 win at St. Louis on September 7.
Ventura allowed just two hits in seven scoreless innings. Hendricks was just as good, lasting six and giving up two hits and two walks while striking out nine. But even what may have been his best outing of the season wasn’t enough for the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
No Royals runner got past second base and Moustakas was the only one past first in an outstanding performance by the entire Cubs pitching staff.
Cubs rookie Kris Bryant also became the first player of the season to field four different positions defensively in the same game.
Cubs: They head out for a six-game road trip to conclude the regular-season schedule. “I feel like a little kid again“. In fact, Ventura was flawless through five before Jorge Soler singled to lead off the sixth inning.
“That’s the kind of game that is won by something like this”, said Chicago manager Joe Maddon.
Denorfia hit the first pitch from reliever Miguel Almonte (0-2) into the left-field bleacher for the Cubs’ major league-leading 13th game-ending victory of the season.
In addition to Hendricks, Trevor Cahill made his case for the postseason roster by throwing two efficient innings. Monday night it was: “See you in two weeks”.
In a game that seemed unlikely to ever end, the Royals got to the eleventh before their bullpen eventually yielded the game’s first run. Madson twirled his change past Bryant for a swinging third strike and worked the same magic against La Stella.
“That was a great game”, said Royals manager Ned Yost. The Cubs are 21-8in their last 29 home games and are 37-18 in their last 55 overall while going 37-18 in their last 55 games on grass.
In the battle for home-field advantage in the American League, the Royals dropped a game behind the Blue Jays, who came back in the late innings against Baltimore.
“It’s a much more delightful way to go”, said John McCarthy who headed north with his friend, Bob Willer.