Cubs blank Royals behind Mills’ strong start

Alec Mills pitched a career-high seven innings as the Chicago Cubs defeated Danny Duffy and the Kansas City Royals 2-0 in an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel Monday night at Wrigley Field.

With weather conditions resembling a late-September game at Wrigley — a game-time temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit and a gusty wind out of the north — offense was hard to find.

Mills picked up the win for the Cubs with seven scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, struck out four and walked three. He threw 63 of his 98 pitches for strikes. He retired 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.

Rowan Wick recorded a four-out save.

Duffy was the hard-luck loser for Kansas City. He gave up one run on three hits over six innings, with six strikeouts and three walks. He became the first Royals starter this season to complete six innings. The last team to start the season with 10 straight games without a starter going at least six innings was the 1995 Atlanta Braves, who won that year’s World Series.

Ian Kennedy gave up a solo home run to Kris Bryant into the teeth of the wind in the seventh inning for the Cubs’ second run.

Neither team could convert on scoring opportunities in the early innings. Neither starting pitcher had a perfect 1-2-3 inning before Mills retired three straight Royals in the top of the fifth. The Royals had two baserunners in each of the first two innings, but Mills worked his way out of both jams.

The Cubs finally touched up Duffy, who loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth. It was the first time in the game the Cubs had more than one baserunner.

Even then, the Cubs didn’t take full advantage. Duffy got Anthony Rizzo to pop out to short before Javier Baez hit a sacrifice fly to right and Wilson Contreras grounded out.