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Cubs tie Cardinals atop NL Central with shutout victory

By Alex Butler
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks allowed seven hits and had seven strikeouts in seven scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/a88815ce8a30ea0e8564c92cc2d07c80/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks allowed seven hits and had seven strikeouts in seven scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 1 (UPI) -- There is now a tie for first place at the top of the National League Central after the Chicago Cubs earned a shutout victory against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Chicago and St. Louis now have matching 57-50 records entering their series finale Thursday. Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks earned the win on the hill in the 2-0 win Wednesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. He allowed seven hits and had seven strikeouts in seven scoreless innings for the Cubs.

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The Cubs and Cardinals were scoreless through five innings before Chicago headed to the plate in the top of the sixth frame. Willson Contreras flew out to leadoff the innings before Kris Bryant reached first base on a fielding error. Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas walked Anthony Rizzo in the next exchange, before getting Javier Baez to line out for the second out of the inning.

Then Ian Happ stepped up to the plate. The Cubs outfielder smacked a 1-2 slider from Mikolas for a ground ball single to right field, plating Bryant for the first run of the game. Chicago added its second run in the eighth inning when the Cardinals had a throwing error while trying to catch Baez stealing third base.

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Jason Heyward and Contreras each had two hits in the Cubs win. Happ and Rizzo both went 1-for-3 in the victory. Cubs reliever Craig Kimbrel earned his eight save of the season.

The Cubs and Cardinals wrap up the division series at 7:15 p.m. EDT Thursday in St. Louis.

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