Kyle Hendricks pitched seven strong innings as the Chicago Cubs defeated the host St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 Sunday night.
Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo hit home runs for the Cubs, who avoided a three-game sweep.
Hendricks (7-9) allowed two runs on four hits. He didn’t walk a batter and matched a season high with eight strikeouts. It was only the second time in six July starts that Hendricks went more than five innings.
Carl Edwards Jr. pitched a scoreless eighth for the Cubs and fellow right-hander Pedro Strop worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save of the season.
The Cubs broke a 2-2 tie with three unearned runs in the fifth inning.
With one out, David Bote lined a single off the glove of Cardinals pitcher John Gant (3-4). Left-hander Austin Gomber replaced Gant and got Rizzo to ground into a fielder’s choice.
Zobrist then doubled to left, sending Rizzo to third. Jason Heyward reached on an error by Cardinals second baseman Yairo Munoz, allowing Rizzo to score the tiebreaking run. Javier Baez, who had homered in each of the previous two games in the series, lined a two-run double to left to make it 5-2.
Gant, a right-hander, went 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Zobrist hit a solo shot to right-center field in the first inning, his seventh home run of the season. He went 4-for-5.
The Cardinals responded in the bottom of the inning on Marcell Ozuna’s two-run homer to left, his 12th. It was the second consecutive game in which Ozuna went deep in the first, after hitting a grand slam Saturday to spark St. Louis to a 6-2 victory.
Rizzo tied it when he led off the third with a solo homer to center field, his 15th. It was Rizzo’s third home run in the past four games.
Cardinals first baseman Jose Martinez was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of ankle soreness. He wound up entering to play right field late in the game, and he went 0-for-1.
The game started 1 hour and 20 minutes late because of a rain delay.
—Field Level Media