Cubs lose pitcher Jordan Wicks to oblique injury in 3–0 loss to Cardinals

Kyle Hendricks is likely to return to the Cubs' rotation to take Wicks' spot

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jordan Wicks left Friday's game with the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning after suffering an apparent injury. Manager Craig Counsell soon informed the team's TV broadcast that Wicks felt discomfort in his right oblique.

Following the Cubs' 3–0 loss to the Cardinals, Counsell told reporters that Wicks would likely go on the injured list because of the oblique issue. That will likely mean Kyle Hendricks' return to the rotation after he was demoted to the bullpen nearly a month ago.

Wicks allowed no runs and two hits in 1 2/3 innings before leaving the game. It was the rookie's second start since going on the injured list in late April with a strained forearm that sidelined him for 40 days. For the season, he has a 4.18 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 28 innings and a 1–2 record.

"To have something like this happen is definitely frustrating, but there’s not a whole lot we can do about it now," Wicks said after the game, via the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan.

Hendricks took over for Wicks in relief Friday and pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits. Prior to being bumped from the rotation, the veteran — and last remaining member of the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship team — compiled a 10.57 ERA in seven starts, giving up more earned runs than any pitcher in MLB at the time.

Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings to lead the Cardinals, allowing no runs and two hits with six strikeouts. Pedro Pagés broke a scoreless tie in the eighth inning with a home run off Hayden Wesneski. That was the first homer of Pagés' MLB career. St. Louis added two runs in the ninth on an RBI double by Iván Herrera and a run-scoring single from Dylan Carlson.

For the Cubs, Friday's loss was the 15th in their past 21 games. That stretch has dropped them to fourth place in the NL Central at 33–37.