CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Hendricks doesn’t believe he was sharp on Sunday night.
The Cardinals might beg to differ.
Hendricks tossed one-run ball over seven innings to continue his dominance over St. Louis, lifting the Chicago Cubs to a 5-1 win.
Carlos González hit his first homer with the Cubs and Kyle Schwarber went 2 for 3 with two RBIs as Chicago completed a three-game sweep of its NL Central rivals and a 6-1 homestand.
All nine games between the Cardinals and Cubs this season have been won by the home team. The Cardinals swept the Cubs in St. Louis last weekend, and Chicago had another three-game sweep at Wrigley Field last month.
Hendricks (7-4) scattered eight hits to win his sixth straight decision. Steve Cishek worked a scoreless eighth, Carl Edwards got two outs in the ninth and Pedro Strop got the final out for his seventh save.
Hendricks is now 7-0 with a 2.31 ERA in his last 10 starts against St. Louis. The Cubs have won all 10 games.
“Today, I wasn’t super sharp, especially early,” Hendricks said. “My fastball command, I was pulling heaters, but (catcher) Willson (Contreras) was locked in. His pitch selection was really good. He kept me into it and got me mentally into it by the fifth inning.”
Paul Goldschmidt had two hits and Kolten Wong added an RBI double for St. Louis, which dropped to 31-32.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (5-6) left in the bottom of the fifth inning with hamstring tightness after doubling in the top half of the inning.
“Hamstrings are hard to put a timetable on initially, but he’s going to go back to St. Louis to get a (better) evaluation,” manager Mike Shildt said. “It’s likely he could miss one start.”
Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI groundout by Anthony Rizzo. The Cardinals quickly tied the score in the second on an RBI double by Wong.
The Cubs regained the lead with two runs in the fifth. Jason Heyward led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Hendricks. David Bote, batting ninth, followed with a single to center to score Heyward. Schwarber then doubled to right-center, scoring Bote all the way from first base.
Wainwright exited the game at that point and Giovanny Gallegos came in and retired Kris Bryant and Rizzo to keep the score 3-1.
“I was still locating in that fifth inning,” Wainwright said. “I just couldn’t explode on my front leg.”
St. Louis tried to answer in the sixth as Goldschmidt led off with a double and Marcell Ozuna followed with a broken-bat single to put runners on the corners. But Dexter Fowler hit a grounder to first base and Rizzo threw home to nail Goldschmidt. Hendricks then retired Wong and Harrison Bader to end the threat.
Chicago made it 4-1 in the seventh on an RBI single by Schwarber.
González’s solo blast in the eighth capped the scoring.
“Just going in with a good game plan,” Hendricks said of his mastery of the Cardinals. “We’ve been able to feel when they’re aggressive and when they’re trying to be patient.”
The Cubs begin a seven-game road trip Monday looking to turn around their 13-16 road record.
“I don’t have a strong answer for that,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We have veteran pitching. To me, when you don’t have a good record on the road, it’s sometimes attached to youthful starting pitching. With veteran starting pitching, it normally should not be an issue.”
Before the game, the Cardinals recalled RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon from Triple-A Memphis and optioned RHP Ryan Helsley to Memphis.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina (right thumb tendon strain) took batting practice Sunday and is expected to join the team in Miami on Monday. “He’ll take batting practice with us (Monday), then we’ll evaluate from there,” Shildt said.
Cubs: 3B Bryant turned an ankle running the bases in the first, but stayed in and played the entire game . LHP Xavier Cedeño (left wrist inflammation) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Sunday and tossed a hitless inning with a walk and a strikeout.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (3-2, 6.30 ERA) starts Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Miami. RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-5, 3.80) pitches for the Marlins.
Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (2-3, 4.88 ERA) takes the mound Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Colorado. RHP German Márquez (6-3, 4.07) goes for the Rockies.