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Short drives in Go-Ahead Run as Braves make Top Cubs 2-0 despite another strong start from Shota Imanaga


AP Photo/John Bazemore
Chicago Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga works the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, May 13, 2024, in Atlanta.

ATLANTA (AP) — Zack Short made the most of his first start with Atlanta by breaking a scoreless tie with a runscoring double in the sixth and the Braves spoiled another strong start from Chicago rookie Shota Imanaga to beat the Cubs 2- 0. Monday night.

Short, who stood out at third base with Austin Riley held out tight to his left, hit a pitch from right-hander Hayden Wesneski (2-2) into the right field corner to drive in Travis d’Arnaud, who doubled. with two outs.

Ronald Acuña Jr. followed with a single to left field, driving in Short for a 2-0 lead.

Imanaga pitched five scoreless innings, extending his team record to eight consecutive starts, starting his career without allowing more than two runs. Imanaga stranded two baserunners in the second and third inning and left the bases loaded in the fourth.

Imanaga struck out eight and lowered his majors-leading ERA to 0.96 despite giving up seven hits with three walks.


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AP Photo/John Bazemore
Chicago Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga works the second inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, May 13, 2024, in Atlanta.

Cubs manager Craig Counsell was ejected in the fourth inning shortly after first base umpire Junior Valentine ruled that Acuña successfully controlled his swing with two outs and the bases loaded. After a delay when Counsell came out of the dugout to argue with Valentine, Imanaga escaped the jam on Acuña’s fly ball to right field.

It was Counsell’s 29th ejection of his career and first with the Cubs.

Braves right-hander Reynaldo López kept pace with Imanaga, pitching five scoreless innings while giving up two hits and two walks.

Left-hander Ray Kerr (1-0) recorded three strikeouts in two perfect innings. AJ Minter pitched the ninth, stranding two baserunners, and earned his first save in four chances, one day after a failed save in a 4-3 loss at the New York Mets.

Acuña, who was thrown out twice at first base in Sunday’s loss to the Mets, was eliminated by Imanaga on a walk in the first inning. Imanaga also retired Ozzie Albies after Albies singled in the fifth.

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