Kyle Hendricks won his sixth consecutive start as the Chicago Cubs defeated the visiting St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 Saturday.
The Cubs won for the fifth time in their last six games to remain tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the National League Central lead.
The reeling Cardinals have lost 10 of their last 12 games to fall five games off the division pace.
Hendricks (8-4) allowed two runs on three hits in six innings while improving his career record against the Cardinals to 11-3. Craig Kimbrel got the final out for his 17th save.
Ian Happ hit a two-run homer for the Cubs and Sergio Alcantara and Joc Pederson hit solo shots.
Nolan Arenado and Paul DeJong hit solo homers for the Cardinals.
Cardinals starting pitcher John Gant (4-4) retired just five batters and allowed five runs after walking five batters. Gant has allowed 12 runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last two starts.
The Cardinals struck first with Arenado’s second-inning homer. But the Cubs responded by sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-1 lead.
Willson Contreras walked and Happ hit his homer. Gant walked Jason Heyward, Alcantara, Hendricks and Kris Bryant, who forced in a run.
Javier Baez greeted reliever Jake Woodford with an RBI single, then Woodford plunked Anthony Rizzo with pitch to force home another run.
The Cardinals got one run back in the third inning on DeJong’s homer. But Alcantara countered that with his homer in the bottom of the inning off Woodford to make it 6-2.
Pederson’s homer off reliever Seth Elledge in the fourth inning made it 7-2.
Tommy Edman hit a one-out double for the Cardinals in the eighth-inning, but Andrew Chafin retired the next two batters to protect that five-run lead.
Arenado walked, Tyler O’Neill hit a single and DeJong walked to load the bases against Trevor Megill in the ninth. But Kimbrel got Edmundo Sosa to hit a game-ending groundout.
–Field Level Media
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