Saturday, 18th May 2024

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Shota continues strong start as Cubs top Mariners

Shota Imanaga allowed one unearned run over 5 1/3 innings, Michael Busch homered in his third straight game and the Chicago Cubs beat the Seattle Mariners, 4-1, on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Seiya Suzuki and Miguel Amaya also hit solo home runs for the Cubs. But the focus was on Imanaga (2-0) continuing the excellent start to his major league career and some timely defense from third baseman Christopher Morel in the sixth to keep the Cubs in front.

Morel made consecutive outstanding plays with runners in scoring position, first from getting down the left-field line and then Dylan Moore’s line drive.

“That changes the game right there. They may have the lead if that ball gets into the corner,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said of the first play Morel made.

“That was a huge play. He made some really nice plays tonight. Overall, it was definitely a really big defensive game for Christopher.”

The two plays by Morel helped get Chicago out of trouble after Imanaga walked the first two batters in the inning. The left-hander has gone 15 1/3 innings without giving up an earned run. He allowed five hits, struck out four and walked two.

“I want to thank him,” Imanaga said through a translator. “With his defense, we were able to win. So I want to congratulate him and thank him on that.”

Mark Leiter Jr., Yency Almonte, Hector Neris and Adbert Alzolay permitted just two baserunners in 3 2/3 innings of relief. Alzolay earned his second save.

Busch ran his by hitting a solo shot off reliever Tyson Miller in the seventh.

“He’s swinging it really [well] right now, and he’s driving it, most importantly,” Counsell said. Suzuki’s homer came on the first pitch he saw from Seattle starter Emerson Hancock (1-2) with two outs in the third off reliever Austin Voth in the eighth.

Hancock rebounded after getting knocked around in his last start. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out four. “Can’t fault the starting pitching.

Normally, you don’t lose games if you give up solo homers, but they got three of them tonight,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. 토토사이트

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