Chicago Cubs Score and Recap (4/13/24): Cubs 4, Mariners 1 – Solo Performances Lead to Win

The Cubs had a much better effort on Saturday night in Seattle after lackluster performances in their two previous games. Shōta Imanaga was very good yet again and Chicago hit a trio of solo home runs to help them earn the victory.

The visitors struck first against Mariners starter Emerson Hancock in the top of the 2nd with back-to-back singles from Dansby Swanson and Michael Busch, followed by a Nico Hoerner sacrifice fly. Busch could not handle a throw from Swanson in the bottom of the frame and the error led to an unearned run on a Luis Urías double that evened the score.

Seiya Suzuki broke up the tie in the 3rd with a homer that just cleared the wall in left. Imanaga pitched through a couple of jams before finally being lifted with two on and one out in the 6th inning. Mark Leiter Jr. came on in relief and was able to retire the next two batters to strand men on second and third.

Busch added critical insurance with a solo home run against former Cub Tyson Miller in the 7th that hugged the right field line. Miguel Amaya provided further cushion with a solo shot of his own against Austin Voth in the next frame.

Craig Counsell got excellent work from his relievers on Saturday with only one M’s runner reaching base against them. Adbert Alzolay pitched around a two-out single in the 9th to save the 4-1 win. (Box score)

Key Moment

Imanaga walked the first two batters in the 6th as he started to run out of steam. Christopher Morel then made a great backhand pick on a Mitch Garver grounder and fired to first to get him as the runners advanced. Leiter took over from there and Dylan Moore hit a lined shot to third that Morel snagged with a leaping grab to keep the tying and go-ahead runs from scoring. Dominic Canzone flew out to end the inning and Seattle never threatened again.

Why the Cubs Won

After the shaky performance in San Diego Monday night the bullpen has been significantly better. Some timely power made up for the offense failing to get many people on base Saturday.

Stats That Matter

  • Imanaga has still not allowed an earned run in his major league career but he did seem to get a bit tired out at the end of his outing issuing the first walks of his career: 5.1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 5H, 4K, and 2 BB.
  • Busch has homered in three consecutive games and has been everything the Cubs hoped he would be when they traded for him.
  • Morel has been steadily improving at third base with more reps. There are still going to be rough moments but he made several very noticeable defensive plays Saturday night.

Bottom Line

This Cubs lineup is full of players who could carry the team if they got hot. Swanson, Busch, Morel, Suzuki, and Cody Bellinger are all capable of power surges. Having that many options should limit any cold streaks.

On Deck

The final game of the series is Sunday at 3:10pm CT. Javier Assad takes on Luis Castillo in a matchup available on MLB Network (out of market only), Marquee, and 670 The Score.

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