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CHICAGO — Kyle Hendricks needed just 81 pitches for a four-hitter, Anthony Rizzo homered for his third straight game and the Chicago Cubs beat the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 on Friday.

The second-place Cubs won their season-high fifth in a row while cutting St. Louis’ lead to 1½ games. The Cardinals have back-to-back losses after five consecutive victories.

Hendricks (2-4) pitched his third career shutout and fourth complete game, his first since he shut out Miami on Aug. 1, 2016. The right-hander struck out three and did not walk a batter, after getting pounded in a loss at Arizona last week. Hendricks improved to 4-0 in five career starts against St. Louis.

Rizzo made it 3-0 with a three-run drive against Jack Flaherty (3-2) in the third and finished with three hits. Javier Baez added an RBI single in the seventh, and the Cubs opened a 10-game homestand with a win.

Flaherty allowed three runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Rizzo drove an 0-1 pitch to the party deck in right for his eighth homer after Daniel Descalso and Kris Bryant drew back-to-back walks in the third. The home run was his 199th, all but one of them for Chicago.

The Cubs added a run in the seventh when Bryant doubled with two outs and scored on Baez’s single. Baez got caught in a rundown with Willson Contreras batting. and Rizzo was thrown out at the plate.