Cubs hang on to beat Royals for 5th win in a row

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Jason Heyward, Jason Kipnis and Willson Contreras homered and the Chicago Cubs overcame another shaky outing by closer Craig Kimbrel to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Kimbrel took over to begin the ninth inning with a 5-2 lead, but struggled again and allowed two runs and two hits while getting only one out. He’s yielded six runs in 1 2/3 innings in three appearances this season.

Cubs reliever Kyle Ryan closed it out for his first save, getting Bubba Starling to ground out to third baseman Kris Bryant with a runner on third to end it.

Kyle Hendricks tossed seven solid innings to help the Cubs improve to 9-2, their best start through 11 games since 2016 when they went on to win the World Series.

Hendricks (2-1) allowed two runs on seven hits, but walked none as he rebounded from a shaky loss last Wednesday at Cincinnati. Jeremy Jeffress pitched a perfect eighth to keep the

Adalberto Mondesi had three hits and an RBI for the Royals, who lost their fifth straight and dropped to 3-9.

Brady Singer (0-1), making his third major league start on his 24th birthday, allowed four runs — on two-run homers by Heyward and Kipnis —and five hits, while striking out eight.

Although Jorge Soler drove in a run with a sacrifce fly, the former Cubs player failed to reach base in ending a 25-game streaking dating to last Sept. 14.

Hendricks, who pitched a three-hit shutout against Milwaukee on opening day, gave up three straight hits to open the second. The Royals stopped a 26-inning scoreless drought at Wrigley Field.

Heyward’s shot to right in the bottom half, his first homer, put Chicago ahead 2-1.

Heyward added a single in the fourth, then came home when Kipnis added his drive to right-center to make it 4-1. It was the second homer for Kipnis, a native of suburban Northbrook, Illinois, who signed a minor league deal with the Cubs in February.

Contreras homered in the eighth.

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