Kyle Hen­dricks, Ad­di­son Rus­sell lead Cubs over Car­di­nals, 4-1

Texarkana Gazette - - SPORTS - By John Jack­son

CHICAGO—Ad­di­son Rus­sell re­ceived a rous­ing ova­tion as he stepped to the plate for the first time in six weeks. Then he gave the crowd a rea­son to cheer even louder.

Rus­sell home­red in his first at-bat since be­ing ac­ti­vated from the dis­abled list, Kyle Hen­dricks pitched ef­fec­tively into the eighth in­ning and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Car­di­nals 4-1 on Satur­day to in­crease their NL Cen­tral lead.

Chicago has won five straight and leads Mil­wau­kee by 3 1/2 games and St. Louis by five in the divi­sion.

"That was a pretty spe­cial mo­ment in my life," Rus­sell said of his first ca­reer pinch-hit homer in the eighth. "Walk­ing to the plate, I couldn't help but smile in­side."

The 23-year-old had been side­lined since early Au­gust with plan­tar fasci­itis of the right foot. The in­jury per­sisted longer than ex­pected and the de­ci­sion to ac­ti­vate him wasn't made un­til a few hours be­fore game time.

"Of course, we're not ex­pect­ing that," man­ager Joe Mad­don said. "I just wanted to get him an at-bat."

Al­bert Almora Jr. had three hits and two RBIs for the Cubs.

Hen­dricks (7-5) al­lowed one run and six hits in a sea­son-high 7 2/3 in­nings. He struck out five and walked one.

Wade Davis got the fi­nal three outs for his 30th save in 30 chances, ex­tend­ing his Cubs record. He has con­verted 36 straight go­ing back to last sea­son for the long­est ac­tive streak in the ma­jors.

Matt Car­pen­ter home­red in the eighth for the Car­di­nals' run.

Michael Wacha (12-8) al­lowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 in­nings.

The Cubs man­aged just one hit over the first three in­nings be­fore break­ing through in the fourth. Almora and Ian Happ had RBI sin­gles to make it 2-0.

Wacha, though, avoided a big in­ning by strik­ing out Javier Baez and Hen­dricks (sand­wiched around a walk to Jon Jay) to leave the bases loaded.

In the fifth, An­thony Rizzo and Will­son Con­tr­eras drew two-out walks fol­low­ing lengthy at-bats (a to­tal of 20 pitches) to put two run­ners on. Almora then ripped the first pitch he saw into the left-cen­ter gap, scor­ing Rizzo for a 3-0 lead.

"His stuff was great," man­ager Mike Ma­theny said of Wacha. "In the fourth, just the walk, a cou­ple hard hit balls, but I thought his stuff looked re­ally good. He threw good enough for us to have a chance to get him a win."

Hen­dricks re­tired the first two bat­ters in the eighth be­fore Car­pen­ter hit a solo shot to left.

"He was re­ally good," Mad­don said of Hen­dricks. "Ev­ery­thing was work­ing. They were hav­ing bad takes. His fast­ball was the best fast­ball he's had all year."

Associated Press

n St. Louis Car­di­nals start­ing pitcher Michael Wacha leaves the base­ball game against the Chicago Cubs dur­ing the sixth in­ning Satur­day in Chicago.

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