ST. LOUIS – He’s found plenty of success against the Cubs’ biggest rivals throughout the years, but Kyle Hendricks offense helped to make his efforts a winning one.
That’s the case even though he along with manager David Ross had to wait for them to erupt.
Hendricks worked into the seventh inning, with the offense giving him a two-run lead in the top of that frame to help him get a win Friday in the Cubs’ first game against the rival Cardinals in 2021. The hitters then left little doubt in the eighth as they scored eight runs to put away a 12-3 win at Busch Stadium.
Hendricks surrendered three runs but only one of them was earned, and that was enough thanks to the late charge from the offense. That effort was good enough for the victory, improving Hendricks to 10-3 against St. Louis in his career.
In the first six innings, only a leadoff homer and a sacrifice fly by Joc Pederson put the Cubs on the board. But everything would change over the next two frames.
Tied at two in the seventh, he was at the plate for a bizarre play when Ryan Helsley threw a pitch that bounced off the wall behind the plate. Yadier Molina threw to third to try to cut down an advancing Nico Hoerner but Nolan Arenado couldn’t get it, bringing in a run.
Kris Bryant’s two run double in the inning brought another run home, but the Cardinals got another run in the bottom half to make it 4-3.
Then came the eighth inning where the Cubs got six hits and three walks to bust the game wide open. Eric Sogard’s single brought home the first run with walks by Bryant and Willson Contreras bring in one apiece.
Anthony Rizzo brought home two runs on a double to right with Javier Baez knocking in another with a single after that. David Bote knocked in two runs with a shot down the line in left, but he was thrown out trying to stretch out a double, putting an end to the inning.
But all the offense had done late along with Hendricks’ performance helped the Cubs get on the board first against their rivals in 2021.