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Apr 1, 2024 5:05 pm

Cubs’ Shota Imanaga dominates Rockies in his MLB debut

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Shota Imanaga struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter in his six-inning major league debut and the host Chicago Cubs shut out the Colorado Rockies 5-0 on Monday.

Christopher Morel had two hits and Cody Bellinger had a two-run single to help Chicago win its home opener.

Charlie Blackmon, Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon had singles for Colorado, which was outhit 9-4 and has lost four of five road games to begin the season.

Imanaga (1-0), who signed a four-year deal with Chicago in January, didn’t allow a hit for the first 5 2/3 innings before Blackmon and Rodgers had consecutive two-out singles for the Rockies. Imanaga ended his day by striking out Nolan Jones.

Dakota Hudson (0-1) was strong in his Colorado debut but was victimized by two errors on one play in the sixth inning. Hudson allowed three runs — all unearned — on four hits and struck out two.

The hitters faced a strong headwind, which helped keep the game scoreless. Blackmon had a deep drive to the wall in center field that might have gone out on a calmer day, and several other drives to the outfield were neutralized by the wind.

The Cubs took advantage of poor fielding to end the scoreless game in the sixth. Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki led off the inning with singles to put runners on first and second. After Bellinger flew out to center, Morel hit a sharp single to left that rolled under left fielder Jones’ glove to the wall.

Happ and Suzuki scored on the fielding error and Morel went to third, and he then scored on Jones’ throwing error, giving Chicago a 3-0 lead.

Nick Mears relieved Hudson to get the final two outs of the sixth.

Chicago padded the lead in the seventh against reliever Peter Lambert. Nico Hoerner and Mike Tauchman led off with singles to put runners at the corners. After Hoerner was thrown out at home trying to score on Yan Gomes’ fielder’s choice, Suzuki drew a two-out walk to load the bases and Bellinger delivered a two-out single to right.

–Field Level Media

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