Cubs' Kyle Hendricks earns starting job back vs. Giants

CHICAGO -- Veteran Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks will start Wednesday's game against the Giants, the team announced Sunday.

It will be Hendricks' first start since giving up eight runs in a May outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has made five relief appearances since then, including three scoreless ones this month.

"We're down pitchers right now," manager Craig Counsell said before announcing the move.

The Cubs lost two starters just this week, including Ben Brown to a neck injury and Jordan Wicks to an oblique strain. Wicks came out of Friday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals after 1⅔ innings, giving way to Hendricks who threw 4⅓ shutout innings in emergency duty.

Despite the 3-0 loss, that outing, along with several other recent ones, earned Hendricks another chance at starting.

"In a lot of ways, Kyle continues to impress you even though he's had a tough go of it so far," Counsell said. "He's worried about the things he can control."

Hendricks, 34, was demoted to the bullpen after struggling throughout his first seven starts of the season as his ERA ballooned to over 12.00. Those struggles led to speculation that the longest-tenured Cubs player might lose his roster spot, but pitching injuries have continued to pile up for Chicago, giving the right-hander more opportunities.

The team is also down relievers Yency Almonte, Julian Merryweather and Adbert Alzolay.

It's unclear how long Hendricks will pitch against the Giants after spending the past month in the bullpen, but the Cubs are hopeful he will just continue to get outs as he is coming off arguably his best appearance of the season.

"Kyle pitched wonderfully," Counsell said after Friday's game. "Gave us a chance to win."