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Apr 5, 2024 5:54 pm

Cubs unload on birthday boy Bobby Miller to beat Dodgers

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Dansby Swanson and Michael Busch each homered while Seiya Suzuki supplied three RBIs as the Chicago Cubs outlasted the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers 9-7 on Friday.

Swanson’s one-out solo shot sparked a five-run second inning that put Chicago ahead for good. Ian Happ added a two-run triple and Nick Madrigal singled twice for the Cubs in their fifth straight win.

Chicago left-hander Drew Smyly (1-1) struck out five while allowing two runs on one hit over 2 2/3 innings in relief of starter Kyle Hendricks. Julian Merryweather pitched a scoreless eighth and Adbert Alzolay worked around two singles in the ninth to secure his first save and the Cubs’ first 4-0 start at home since 1998.

Shohei Ohtani homered for the second straight game and finished 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs for the Dodgers. Will Smith had four hits and Teoscar Hernandez notched three singles and four RBIs.

The Dodgers appeared to load the bases with one out in the ninth inning before the Cubs successfully challenged that Swanson’s throw from shortstop to Busch beat Hernandez to first base. Busch then made a diving snag on James Outman’s line drive to end the game.

Los Angeles starter Bobby Miller (1-1), pitching on his 25th birthday about 25 miles from his hometown of Elk Grove Village, Ill., exited after allowing five runs on four hits over 1 2/3 innings.

The Cubs quickly soured Miller’s celebratory day after the Dodgers’ right-hander struck out the side in the first inning.

Swanson’s homer and Madrigal’s RBI single tied the game at 2-2 before Nico Hoerner scored on Miller’s two-out wild pitch with the bases loaded. Suzuki lined the next pitch off the right-center field wall for a two-run double to end the shortest outing of Miller’s career.

Busch’s first home run as a Cub put Chicago up 6-2 in the third inning before Los Angeles battled back in the fifth behind the top of its order.

Betts led off with a single before Ohtani yanked a two-run homer over the wall in deep right. Freddie Freeman followed with a walk and scored on Smith’s double to summon Smyly, who fanned the next three batters to keep Chicago ahead 6-5.

The Cubs widened their lead to 9-5 in the sixth inning on Happ’s two-run triple and Suzuki’s sacrifice fly.

Hernandez’s second two-run single of the game pulled the Dodgers within 9-7 in the seventh.

–Field Level Media

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