Hendricks defeats Cardinals for 9th straight win

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CHICAGO – Kyle Hendricks won his ninth straight decision, Patrick Wisdom hit a two-run homer and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-5 on Friday afternoon.

Kris Bryant scored three runs with a brace to kick off Chicago’s five-point flurry in the seventh inning before Wisdom took on his former team.

Joc Pederson has doubled twice, including a three-point hit in the first. Chicago won for the second time in three games after an 11-game losing streak.

Bryant didn’t start for a second straight game due to right hamstring strain, but he hit the first pitch he saw from Junior Fernandez to the left wall filed with the bases loaded. The All-Star came home when Wisdom connected for his 12th home run to bring the score to 9-2.

“KB staying ready, we’ve talked about using it in the right situation and it’s not getting any better than that,” said manager David Ross. “Dealing with Kris Bryant with a loaded base at Wrigley Field is generally going to work in our favor.”

Hendricks (11-4) allowed 2 runs on 7 hits in 6 1/3 innings while walking 1 and hitting a batter.

Hendricks, one of the Cubs’ few bright spots as they fell below 0.500, had won eight straight starts before going without a decision in his previous two outings.

“I felt good overall, maybe not at my best, but still have to stick to the process,” said the right-hander. “I was really good mentally and made a few shots.”

Hendricks attributes his consistency to fine tuning his order.

“There were definitely some adjustments that needed to be made,” he said. “I finally got my fastball in the back end of the crease, and that changed a lot, and I threw better inside.”

The 31-year-old right-hander also helped out on the pitch. Hendricks trapped Dylan Carlson’s back liner to start the fifth, then jumped high off the mound to steal a single from Tyler O’Neill to complete the round.

Carlson had three hits and Paul DeJong had a two-run homerun in the ninth for the Cardinals, who lost four of six. Starter Wade LeBlanc (0-2) allowed 3 runs on 5 hits in 3 innings before manager Mike Shildt turned to seven relievers

“We avoided them and played in traffic, we got out of traffic… until the seventh,” said Shildt. “Do that after a while and sometimes you get burned. We just couldn’t get close to get the guys from the back into the game.”

Javier Baez started at the Cubs shortstop after missing two games with a sprained right thumb. O’Neill was in left field for the Cardinals after injuring his right little finger and a food allergy reaction limited him to two appearances on set in the past week.

The Cubs loaded the goals in the first and Pederson cleared them with two strikeouts when Carlson slipped and couldn’t hang on to a sinking lining in right field.

The Cardinals reduced him to 3-2 in the third on singles from O’Neill and Yadier Molina with two strikeouts.

Ian Happ’s single in Game 4 in Chicago made it 4-2. Jason Heyward added an RBI in the eighth.

A middle-aged fan passed way over the side wall in the tight right corner of Wrigley Field and caught Paul Goldschmidt’s fly with his glove in the first inning as Heyward moved closer. Goldschmidt has been ruled out for fan interference despite a challenge from the Cardinals.

On Friday, the Cardinals signed a free agent contract with right-hander Luis Garcia, then called on the 34-year-old veteran to start the fourth inning. Garcia hit the first batter he faced, Willson Contreras, on the helmet with a 0-2 pitch. Contreras stayed behind in the game.

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks delivers during a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh on Thursday, May 27, 2021 (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar)

St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Tyler O'Neill (27) and center fielder Harrison Bader (48) cannot catch a three-point double hit by Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant (17) during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago.  (AP Photo / David <a class=Banks)” style=”width: 100%”/>

St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neill (27) and center fielder Harrison Bader (48) cannot catch a three-point double hit by Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant (17) during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo / David Banks)

Patrick Wisdom of the Chicago Cubs (16) hits a two-run homerun against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago.  (AP Photo / David Banks)

Patrick Wisdom of the Chicago Cubs (16) hits a two-run homerun against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo / David Banks)

Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) cannot catch a ball hit by Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals because a fan interfered with the ball and Goldschmidt was called out in the first inning of a baseball game, Friday July 9.  2021, in Chicago.  (AP Photo / David Banks)

Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward (22) cannot catch a ball hit by Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals because a fan interfered with the ball and Goldschmidt was called out in the first inning of a baseball game, Friday July 9. 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo / David Banks)

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt (8) discusses a call with the umpires during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago.  (AP Photo / David Banks)

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt (8) discusses a call with the umpires during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo / David Banks)

Chicago Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner (2) loses the ball in the sun in the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago.  (AP Photo / David Banks)

Chicago Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner (2) loses the ball in the sun in the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo / David Banks)

Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant (17) watches his three-point brace against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago.  (AP Photo / David Banks)

Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant (17) watches his three-point brace against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo / David Banks)

Chicago Cubs Javier Baez (9) is safe at home plate as St. Louis Cardinals wide receiver Yadier Molina (4) throws a late pitch in the first inning of a baseball game on Friday 9 July 2021, in Chicago.  (AP Photo / David Banks)

Chicago Cubs Javier Baez (9) is safe at home plate as St. Louis Cardinals wide receiver Yadier Molina (4) throws a late pitch in the first inning of a baseball game on Friday 9 July 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo / David Banks)

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