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Kyle Hendricks struggles again in 5th start this season for the Chicago Cubs

CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Hendricks is working through a rough stretch with the Chicago Cubs — with no sign of a turnaround so far.

Hendricks lasted just four innings on Sunday against the Miami Marlins, continuing a rough start to the season for the 34-year-old right-hander. He struck out five and walked none, but he was charged with four runs and six hits.

Chicago had won six of eight heading into the finale of the four-game set against Miami, but Hendricks' performance is a growing concern. He has a 12.00 ERA through five starts, surrendering 28 runs and 37 hits in 21 innings.

“Kyle’s a good pitcher. He’s struggling. He struggled his first four starts," Cubs manager Craig Counsell said before the game. "It’s always ‘Why?’ is the next question, right? And there’s never simple answers to why. We just got to keep going, and Kyle’s got to keep going and try to figure it out.”

Hendricks worked a perfect first inning on Sunday, but Jesús Sánchez hit a 460-foot drive to center for a solo homer in the second.

Miami opened the fourth with four consecutive singles on five pitches, producing two runs. A fielder's choice grounder for Emmanuel Rivera drove in another run, giving the Marlins a 4-1 lead.

Hendricks threw a season-low 56 pitches, 44 for strikes. He hasn't pitched more than five innings in any of his five starts.

“He’s gone through, maybe not this particular stretch, but stretches where you’re not pitching the way you want to and struggling, and yet you figure it out," Counsell said, "and that’s what being a 10-year major league pitcher’s about.”

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Jay Cohen, The Associated Press