EditorsNote: new headline, changes last graf
Kyle Hendricks threw a complete-game shutout on 81 pitches to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 4-0 win against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Friday afternoon.
Hendricks (2-4) allowed four hits, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter in the opener of the three-game series. It was his third major league shutout and first since a 5-0 win against the Miami Marlins on Aug. 1, 2016.
The last Chicago pitcher to throw a complete-game shutout in fewer than 100 pitches was Carlos Zambrano, who beat the San Francisco Giants 3-0 on 98 pitches on Sept. 25, 2009.
Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer among his three hits for Chicago, which has won five in a row, the past two by shutout.
St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty (3-2) pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and four hits with nine strikeouts and a season-high four walks.
The Cardinals had wrapped up their four-game series at the Washington Nationals on Thursday night after a 2 1/2-hour rain delay. The Cubs had been off since finishing their two-game series at the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday afternoon.
Flaherty walked back-to-back batters with one out in the third before Rizzo lifted an 0-1 pitch just inside the right field foul pole for a 3-0 lead.
It was Rizzo’s fourth home run in the past five games and the 199th of his major league career.
After striking out in his first three plate appearances, Javier Baez lined an RBI single to right in the seventh to make it 4-0.
Only one batter moved into scoring position off Hendricks, who carried a no-hitter into the ninth against the Cardinals on Sept. 12, 2016.
Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong led off the third with a single. He was thrown out at second for the second out on a bunt back to the pitcher by Flaherty, who then became the first pitcher in the majors to steal a base this season. Hendricks got Matt Carpenter to ground out to first to end the inning.
—Field Level Media