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Chicago Cubs

Cubs sweep Cardinals again at home

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday at Wrigley Field
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday at Wrigley Field

This season series between the Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals has been one for the homebodies.

Now, the Cubs hope they can become better road warriors.

The Cubs beat the Cardinals, 5-1, on Sunday night at Wrigley Field. They swept the three-game weekend series and improved to 37-27 for the season.

In early May, the Cubs also swept the Cards at Wrigley – but the Cards took all three from the Cubs May 31 to June 2 in St. Louis. The Cubs were beaten, 2-1, twice in that series.

Now the Cubs embark on a difficult road trip to Colorado and Los Angeles. Away from the Friendly Confines, the Cubs are only 13-16.

“Overall, we haven’t been a good enough road team this year,” Cubs manger Joe Maddon said. “We’ve been really good at home. We have not been a good enough road team. That’s what we really have to get better with. It’s not like it’s been a huge issue for us in the past.

“I don’t really have a strong answer for that. We have veteran pitching. Normally to me when you don’t have a good record on the road, sometimes it’s attached to youthful pitching, starting pitching. But with veteran starting pitching, it should not be an issue. So we’ve got to do better on the road.”

Speaking of the comforts of home, Kyle Hendricks turned in another strong start at Wrigley Field. He worked seven innings, giving up eight hits and one run. He improved to 7-4 for the season and lowered his ERA from 3.16 to 3.00.

At Wrigley Field this season, Hendricks has an ERA of 1.65 in seven starts.

The Cubs gave Hendricks a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Kyle Schwarber, who has been hot at the plate lately, walked to lead off. Kris Bryant singled, sending Schwarber to third. Schwarber came home on Anthony Rizzo’s groundout. Kolten Wong’s RBI double in the second tied the game.

The Cubs got two in the fifth. Jason Heyward singled. Hendricks, batting eighth in the order, bunted Heyward to second. David Bote singled Heyward home, and Schwarber hit an RBI double to the gap in right-center.

Schwarber helped the Cubs to an insurance run the seventh. With one out, Albert Almora Jr. batted for Hendricks and reached on an error by third baseman Matt Carpenter. Almora took second on an errant pickoff throw and moved to third on Bote’s ground ball. Schwarber hit an RBI single to center.

Carlos Gonzalez hit his first homer as a member of the Cubs, a solo drive to left field in the eighth.

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