Ro­ta­tion key fac­tor in streak

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY RUS­SELL DORSEY, STAFF RE­PORTER rdorsey@sun­times.com | @Russ_Dorsey1

The Cubs are putting the league on no­tice that they aren’t tak­ing this 60-game sea­son lightly. They con­tin­ued to keep the good times going in Wed­nes­day’s 6-1 vic­tory over the Royals for their sixth win in a row.

The role the ro­ta­tion has played get­ting them off to such a hot start can’t be un­der­stated. The starters have been the en­gine that has car­ried the Cubs to a 10-2 record, tied for the best in base­ball. Whether they have a large lead or a small one, it hasn’t changed the way they have got out to do the job.

Yu Darvish (2-1) kept the line mov­ing for the staff, toss­ing seven in­nings of one-run ball on just five hits. He struck out four and walked one. Darvish’s five-hit per­for­mance made it six con­sec­u­tive qual­ity starts for the ro­ta­tion.

“An­other great start from him,” man­ager David Ross said. “He mixed his pitches well. We played some re­ally good pitches well and then he set­tled in. It looked like he re­ally took off once we got the lead. Pound­ing the zone, mix­ing his pitches re­ally well. I just loved the fin­ish the last cou­ple of in­nings, es­pe­cially the last two. Just blow­ing some real fast­balls by guys. You could just see him hit that sec­ond gear late in the game.”

With their bullpen try­ing to find their way, the Cubs’ of­fense has done a solid job of ad­ding on in­sur­ance runs late in games. Javy Baez and Will­son Con­tr­eras con­tin­ued that trend by ad­ding two-out RBI sin­gles in the eighth after a Royals er­ror with two outs. Vic­tor Cara­tini and Kris Bryant would add two more RBI sin­gles after a sec­ond Royals er­ror in the ninth.

“I’m re­ally proud of our guys for cap­i­tal­iz­ing on a mis­take,” Ross said. “That’s some­thing that a good team does. Re­ally good at-bats there after a small mis­take with a lead late in the game where you could just cash it in.”

Hot­tovy en­joy­ing time in KC from afar

It’s not the usual trip home for Cubs pitch­ing coach Tommy Hot­tovy. The Kansas City na­tive isn’t mak­ing any special trips while the team is in town and con­tin­ues to fol­low its health and safety pro­to­cols.

“I’m not leav­ing the ho­tel,” Hot­tovy said. “I told my fam­ily and friends and every­body here. I’d love to see him. I’m only here for two days. I know my mom would want to have lunch and do all those things and see my sis­ter. My sis­ter is still a third-grade teacher. She just had a brand new baby a cou­ple of weeks ago. How much would I love to go get to see her and my nephew? Can’t do it. I just can’t.

“That’s what we’re in for. We all signed up for this to make sure that this could work. We all have to make those kinds of sac­ri­fices. I would love to get to see him. But right now, this is our home.”

ORLIN WAG­NER/AP

Cubs starter Yu Darvish had an ef­fec­tive out­ing against the Royals on Wed­nes­day night. Darvish al­lowed one earned run on five hits over seven in­nings.

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