CHICAGO – Jock Pedersen homeed for a third straight game, Sergio Alcantara and Ian Happ went deep as well, and the Chicago Cubs used a five-run second inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 on Saturday night.
Kyle Hendrix (8-4) bowled six solid innings for his sixth consecutive win and the Cubs won for the seventh time in 11 matches.
Nolan Arenado and Paul DeJong scored home runs for the Cardinals, who lost 10 of 12 and fell 32-32 to .500 for the first time since April 28.
John Gantt (4-4) lasted 1 2/3 innings to add to St. Louis’ rotation struggle, allowing five runs, five walks and one hit with just one strike.
“Had a lot of good defensive plays, took really good quality batsmen, hit the ball hard across the ballpark. Paul had a good stroke. Not enough,” said manager Mike Schildt. “Let me get it better One way to make is to find out. It’s finally on my shoulders.”
The Cubs sent 11 batsmen to the plate in their five-run second. Hap hit a two-run shot to put the Cubs 2-1 before Gantt walked in with the next three batsmen – Hendrix. Pedersen was out and scored a run before Kris Bryant was dismissed for the fifth walk of the innings.
“We’ve done a lot of things that have been positive, but we haven’t been able to bridge the gap and are giving too much,” Schild said. “Sometimes it’s earned and sometimes we pitch a guy around, but there are a lot of non-competitive guys as well.”
Jake Woodford replaced Gantt and allowed an RBI single to Javier Baez before hitting Anthony Rizzo off the pitch to bring up another run.
“This is what our people are doing,” Hendrix said. “They are batting incredibly, going pitch-to-pitch so well. In fact, all night, did a really good job of answering. “
Woodford got his first major league hit – a single from Hendrix – in the next inning when DeJong hit a leadoff homer.
Alcantara added a single shot over Woodford in third.
Pedersen once again made the move to stutter at third base and celebrated the homing of Seth Allez in fourth, a move he copied from Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr.
Manager David Ross said, “When you take offense to continue the batting we have in them, I think we are never out of the game.” “I think we can put down a crooked number pretty fast.”
Arenado hit his 12th homer in the second innings off Hendrix. Hendrix leads the majors with 19 homers. He gave away two runs and three hits.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the ninth, but Craig Kimbrel took the mound and found a field to end the game with his 17th save in 19 chances.
“I don’t think we’re worried,” DeJong said. “I’m pretty sure we’re playing the game right now. The Cubs are a good team. It’s a wild place to play. We’re trying to do as much as we can as a group.”
The crowd of 39,095 was up from Friday’s 35,112, when Wrigley Field opened to full capacity for the first time since September 22, 2019.
on the move
Chicago recalled right-hander Trevor Magill (0–0, 0.00 ERA) from Triple-A Iowa and selected right-hander Kohl Stewart (1–1, 5.68) for Iowa before the game.
The Cubs debuted their dark blue City Connect jersey with light blue trim, “Wrigleyville” on the front and designed for Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods.
Ross said he did not wear a mask in the dugout because he did not have a mask matching his uniform. He said he was unaware of the other cubs being masked. Chicago has yet to reach the 85% vaccination threshold for relaxing protocols.
Bryant played his first game since April 20 at third base. He has seen time in all outfield positions and at first base.
Cardinals: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (lower back stiffness) is expected to throw another bullpen on Sunday as he nears a return from the injured list. … Justin Williams (neck tightness) was slated to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis. … RHP Dakota Hudson (Tommy John surgery) is playing catch and hopes to contribute before the end of the season, said Schildt.
Cubs: INFs David Botte (left shoulder dislocated), Matt Duffy (lower back strain) and Nico Horner (left hamstring strain) are progressing well, with Duffy likely to be ahead of the pack, said Ross . … LHP Justin Steele (right hamstring strain) is close to throwing a bullpen, said Ross.
RHP Carlos Martinez (3-6, 6.21 ERA) will open Sunday’s series finale for the Cardinals against RHP Zach Davis (3-3, 4.45). Martinez has conceded 15 runs in 4 2/3 innings in his last two starts. Davis has conceded five runs in his last 20 1/3 innings.
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