Before moving on to Cincinnati to take on the Reds, the Chicago Cubs had an opportunity to pick up a rare three-game sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals. They trailed late and attempted to put together a rally following a three and a half hour rain delay.
It was an off day for young right-hander Kyle Hendricks, to say the least. Chicago’s 26-year-old hurler started the afternoon without giving up a big fly in two outings to begin the young campaign until veteran left fielder Matt Holliday stepped into the batter’s box.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo was close to having himself a two-homer game and nearly gave the Cubs (11-4) a two-run lead to start the afternoon but was robbed by center fielder Randal Grichuk. Former Cardinal Jason Heyward was the lead baserunner after he collected his first hit of the series on a ball hit to center.
Soon after Grichuk and the Cardinals (8-7) made their way back to the dugout, Holliday cranked his third home run of the season to left field. Kris Bryant, who started the game out in left, backed up near the wall in hopes of matching Grichuk by robbing the veteran of a two-run shot.
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Things would get worse for Hendricks later on in the second inning. St. Louis got the ball rolling when Yadier Molina recorded his fifth double of the season and would find himself standing on third following a base hit off the bat of second baseman Kolton Wong.
Hendricks (1-2, 4.00 ERA) would be charged with his third earned run of the game on a wild pitch that allowed Molina to cross home plate safely, extending the Cardinals lead to 3-0. He would strike Aledmys Diaz out with the third changeup of the at-bat to bring his counterpart, Carlos Martinez, to the plate.
Martinez (3-0, 2.70 ERA) helped out his own cause by blooping a pitch over the head of Rizzo at first to drive in Wong to score. He cruised through this Chicago Cubs lineup, holding them to three hits and one earned run while issuing three walks and striking out five. That earned run came later on in the fourth courtesy of Rizzo.
Rizzo, who was robbed of a two-run shot in the first, pulled the first pitch of his second at-bat to deep right field for his third big fly of the season. It traveled an estimated 430 plus ft. Once the tarp was removed from the infield, both teams went right back to work.
The Cubbies put together a little rally during the top of the eighth on an RBI single to right field by Rizzo and a fielder’s choice. Scoring both runs would bring them within just one of the Cardinals but it was Molina who put the nail in the coffin with an RBI knock of his own.