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Jun 9, 2024 4:59 pm

Ian Happ, Shota Imanaga help Cubs snap Reds’ 7-game winning streak

Chicago Cubs

Ian Happ continued to torment the Cincinnati Reds with a three-run double and a clutch defensive play late in the game to help the visiting Chicago Cubs salvage the finale of a four-game series with a 4-2 win on Sunday.

Chicago lefty ace Shota Imanaga (6-1) won for the first time since May 1 after four no-decisions and a loss. Imanaga allowed two runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking one.

The game was delayed for five minutes in the bottom of the ninth for maintenance to the pitching mound before Cubs closer Hector Neris took his warmup pitches. Neris pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in 11 chances.

Cincinnati starter Frankie Montas (3-5) was charged with four runs on five hits while retiring just four batters as the Reds had their season-best seven-game winning streak snapped.

Montas walked three and struck out two in posting his second-shortest outing of the season.

The Cubs got off to a quick start against Montas in the first inning.

Mike Tauchman opened with a walk before Seiya Suzuki doubled him to third. After a one-out walk to Christopher Morel, Happ doubled to right to clear the bases.

Happ, a University of Cincinnati product, has 30 homers and 83 RBIs in 109 career games against the Reds, including 47 RBIs in 53 career games in Cincinnati.

The Cubs knocked Montas out of the game in the second after Miguel Amaya opened with a double to left and Tauchman singled to right to make it 4-0.

Imanaga was in control through the first six innings, allowing only two hits, including a solo homer from Luke Maile leading off the third inning that cut Chicago’s lead to 4-1.

The Reds finally got to Imanaga in the seventh inning by opening with three consecutive hits, including an RBI single to left by Santiago Espinal that scored Spencer Steer.

But Espinal committed a baserunning blunder when he tried to stretch the single into a double and was easily thrown out at second by Happ. After Imanaga got the second out with a strikeout of TJ Friedl, reliever Mark Leiter Jr. finished the inning.

Cincinnati reliever Carson Spiers gave the Reds a chance to get back in the game with a career-high 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing four hits while matching a career high with seven strikeouts.

–Field Level Media

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