Shota Imanaga Shines in Debut as Cubs Dominate Rockies in Home Opener Shutout

Shota Imanaga Shines in Debut as Cubs Dominate Rockies in Home Opener Shutout

In his major league debut, Shota Imanaga delivered an impressive performance, striking out nine without issuing a walk over six innings, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 5-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies in their home opener on Monday.

Christopher Morel and Cody Bellinger contributed offensively, with Morel securing two hits and Bellinger driving in two runs with a single, aiding Chicago in clinching the win.

Shota Imanaga

The Rockies struggled at the plate, managing only three hits compared to Chicago’s nine, and have now dropped four of their first five road games of the season.

Imanaga, who inked a four-year contract with the Cubs in January, nearly achieved a no-hitter, maintaining a hitless game until the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon and Brendan Rodgers hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the sixth. Imanaga wrapped up his stint by striking out Nolan Jones.

Dakota Hudson, making his debut for Colorado, pitched well but suffered from defensive lapses. A costly double error in the sixth inning led to three unearned runs against him. The game remained tight, partly due to a strong headwind that kept several potential hits inside the park.

The Cubs broke the deadlock in the sixth inning, leveraging a fielding mistake by Rockies left fielder Jones, which allowed Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki to score, with Morel advancing to third. Morel then scored on an additional error by Jones, pushing Chicago ahead by three runs.

Reliever Nick Mears stepped in for Hudson to close out the sixth inning. Chicago extended their lead in the seventh inning when Bellinger’s two-out single brought in two more runs, solidifying their lead and setting the final score at 5-0.

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