Kris Bryant may be facing Nationals' Bryce Harper on the baseball diamond during the NLDS but the two players came together to help the victims of the massacre in their home town Las Vegas. Baez advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Hendricks, who tossed seven shutout innings.
That proved costly, because Bryant now was able to score on Rizzo's base hit to right, on a sinking liner that Harper couldn't quite catch via diving attempt (his first such attempt like that since he injured his left knee nearly two months ago).
After Strasburg dazzled and dominated during his first 52 pitches, the game shifted on his next several as the Cubs seized a rare opportunity on a night when the right-hander was almost unhittable.
The most infuriating part, as a Cardinals fan, is the Cubs have an enjoyable group to watch. Anthony Rizzo was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs to pace the offense. But Rendon's error in the sixth led to a two-run rally for the Cubs, who began their title defense by stoking the insecurities of a franchise that has never advanced past the first round of the playoffs.
For five innings, a crowd of 43,898 - more than 90 percent clad in red - became believers.
The Cubs chose to go with two catchers instead of three, with Alex Avila backing up Willson Contreras. Carl Edwards Jr., who tossed 11 pitches in a perfect eighth inning in Game 1, took the ball for manager Joe Maddon with the hope of getting the lead to closer Wade Davis in the bottom of the ninth.
Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs beat Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg 3-0 in a well-pitched opener Friday night.
The season series is tied 4-4 this season including the playoff game with the total going under five times.
In what was arguably the biggest game of the year for Hendricks, "The Professor" gave the Nationals lineup a great lecture.
Bryant, Rizzo said, managed to "get the monkey off the back in the dugout for all of us".
Justin Turner and the major league-best Dodgers try to solve nemesis Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89 ERA, 218 Ks) and take a 2-0 lead over the Diamondbacks in their NL Division Series.
After Kyle Hendricks turned in an outstanding effort in Game 1, Jon Lester followed with a strong performance of his own.
"It's an error", he said. The only baserunner reached on a walk. He scored the first of two unearned runs off Strasburg when Bryant singled in front of right fielder Bryce Harper to break up the right-hander's no-hit bid.
Less than a half-hour before the game, the Nationals announced that assistant hitting coach Jacque Jones has been suspended with pay pending an internal investigation.
According to ESPN, both Harper and Bryant knew people that attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival but escaped with non-life threatening injuries. The team said the suspension is connected to a legal matter. He retired 10 batters in a row before Zimmerman led off the fifth with a single up the middle.
Jose Quintana (0-0, 0.00) makes his postseason debut against Max Scherzer (0-0, 0.00). He is 9-7 with a 2.63 ERA in his postseason career. Scherzer has been dealing with a sore right hamstring.