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Mar 31, 2024 6:22 pm

Cubs take over in ninth inning, beat Rangers to avoid sweep

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Ian Happ had four hits and drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded walk, and Seiya Suzuki hit a two-run single to highlight a four-run ninth inning, as the visiting Chicago Cubs salvaged the final game of their three-game opening series with the Texas Rangers with a 9-5 victory on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.

Christopher Morel hit a three-run homer, Miguel Amaya joined Suzuki with two hits and a run and Happ and Suzuki both finished with two RBIs for Chicago.

Hector Neris (1-0) picked up the win, allowing one hit and striking out two during one inning of scoreless relief. Adbert Alzolay secured the win with a 1-2-3 ninth that included a pair of strikeouts.

Marcus Semien doubled and had two hits and three RBIs, rookie Wyatt Langford had a two-run triple and Josh Jung also tripled for Texas. Ezequiel Duran also had two hits and a stolen base for the Rangers. Jose Leclerc (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on three walks and a hit over just two-thirds of an inning.

The game was tied 5-5 entering the ninth when the Cubs loaded the bases with one out on walks to Michael Busch and Mike Tauchman sandwiched around an infield single to Nico Hoerner. Pinch hitter Miles Mastrobuoni then hit into a fielder’s choice that saw Busch thrown out at the plate, but Happ followed with walk to force in Hoerner for the go-ahead run.

Suzuki then singled off Jacob Latz to drive in Tauchman and Mastrobuoni to make it 8-5. Cody Bellinger, who had three of Chicago’s nine walks in the contest, then singled off the glove of first baseman Jared Walsh to drive in Happ.

Chicago jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning off Rangers starter Jon Gray on a home run by Morel, a 403-foot line drive into the left field bleachers that scored Suzuki and Bellinger.

Texas cut the lead to 3-2 in the second on Semien’s two-out, bases-loaded single.

The Cubs increased the lead to 5-2 in the fourth after Tauchman walked and went to second on a single by Amaya. Happ then followed with a ground double into the gap in right-center.

Texas tied it the bottom of the fourth. Walsh led off with a single and Ryan Carter reached base on an error by Dansby Swanson. One out later, Semien doubled off the top of the left field fence to drive in Walsh to make it 5-3. Langford followed with a game-tying triple that landed at the base the center field fence below the 410 sign to drive in Carter and Semien.

–Field Level Media

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