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MLB: Shota Imanaga gives up two runs and strikes out eight; Cubs beat Padres 3-2


AP Photo/Erin Hooley
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Shota Imanaga reacts to striking out San Diego Padres’ Xander Bogaerts during the sixth inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Chicago.

CHICAGO (AP) — Michael Busch led off the ninth inning with a game-ending home run, Cody Bellinger went deep in his return after broken ribs and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Bellinger had three hits after missing two weeks. He gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead when he made the fourth inning against Randy Vásquez.

It stayed that way until the eighth, when the Padres reached Shota Imanaga after cruising through the first seven innings.


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AP Photo/Erin Hooley
Chicago Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga throws at a San Diego Padres batter during the second inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Chicago.

He gave up a leadoff single to pinch hitter Luis Arraez before Jurickson Profar chased him down with a two-run drive that just cleared the left-field wall. The Padres had a man on third base with two outs when second baseman Nico Hoerner raced back and made a lunging grab on Xander Bogaerts’ bloop, saving another run.

The Cubs tied the game in the second half when Mike Tauchman walked to lead against Yuki Matsui, took third on a single by Bellinger and scored on Christopher Morel’s sacrifice fly.

Chicago’s Héctor Neris (2-0) pitched out of a jam in the ninth, when he retired Jackson Merrill after popping out with runners on first and second base.

Busch got the win in the second half when he hit the first pitch he saw from Enyel De Los Santos (1-2) to right for his first career-ending homer. He was mobbed by his teammates as he crossed the plate.

Imanaga came through again with a solid performance after winning his previous four starts. The Japanese left-hander gave up two runs and seven hits, struckout eight and walked one.

Bellinger received a warm welcome during the introductions and really had the crowd cheering when he made contact against Vásquez. He hit a 3-2 pitch into the right-field stands for his sixth home run of the season.

It was a nice return for Bellinger, who broke two ribs on his right side when he crashed into the center field wall at Wrigley Field on April 23 while trying to play against the Houston Astros. The 2019 NL MVP was already warming up. the injury, 10 for 30 with three home runs and seven RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak.

Vásquez threw 4 1/3 innings and allowed one run and five hits in his third start this season. The righthander struckout six batters and walked none after being recalled from Triple-A El Paso on Sunday, with Joe Musgrove on the injured list due to right elbow inflammation.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: Manager Craig Counsell said the Cubs planned to have Bellinger serve as DH on Tuesday and likely Wednesday before deciding whether to play him.

The Cubs placed RHP Daniel Palencia (strained right shoulder) on the 15-day injured list. … OF Seiya Suzuki (right oblique strain) was headed to Iowa to play Wednesday and Thursday and could return to Pittsburgh this weekend, Counsell said.


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AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Chicago Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki practices before the team’s baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Chicago.
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