Kyle Hendricks shuts out Cardinals on just 81 pitches in Cubs’ 4-0 win
CHICAGO — The sun was out at Wrigley Field for Friday’s series opener between the Cubs and Cardinals, though a cold, 12-mph wind was blowing in from left field, making it a pitchers’ day.
Kyle Hendricks made the most of the elements, throwing a complete-game shutout in a 4-0 win.
Hendricks (2-4) needed only 81 pitches in his first shutout and complete game since Aug. 1, 2016, a 5-0 win over the Marlins.
It was the fewest pitches in a shutout by a Cubs pitcher since Jon Lieber needed only 78 in a 3-0 win over the Reds on May 24, 2001.
The Cubs moved to within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Cardinals in the National League Central.
The Cubs built a 3-0 lead in the early going on Anthony Rizzo’s three-run shot in the third off Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty (3-2), who walked two batters before serving up Rizzo’s eighth homer.
Rizzo tied Hank Sauer for ninth place on the Cubs’ all-time home run list with the 198th of his career.
Javier Baez added an RBI single in the seventh to make it 4-0.
Hendricks entered the ninth inning with a pitch count of 71, ensuring he’d be able to get the complete game. After a Dexter Fowler single, Hendricks retired the next three hitters to end it.