Hendricks leads Cubs past Cardinals

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JULY 24: Kyle Hendricks #28 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers on opening day at Wrigley Field on July 24, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Hendricks went eight innings, and the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs beat the second-place St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Monday.

The Cubs got just the sort of start they needed from Hendricks and closed out the five-game series on a winning note after losing three straight. They lead their longtime rivals by 2 1/2 games.

Hendricks (5-4) gave up a run and seven hits in his second straight win. He also struck out four and walked none in his 38th consecutive start with two walks or less — the most by a Cubs pitcher since at least 1901.

Javier Báez had three singles and scored a run, helping the Cubs earn a split of the 10-game season series against the Cardinals. Jason Kipnis had two hits and drove in a run. Willson Contreras made it 5-0 with a two-run single against Johan Oviedo in the fifth.

Oviedo (0-2) went 4 2/3 innings in his fourth major league start, allowing three earned runs and eight hits.

Catcher Yadier Molina exited in the sixth with a bruised left elbow. Matt Wieters replaced the nine-time All-Star and drove in St. Louis’ lone run with a seventh-inning single. But the Cardinals came up short after matching a season high with three straight wins.

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