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Shota Imanaga stars in major league debut as Cubs beat Rockies 5-0 in Wrigley Field opener

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Shota Imanaga pitched six sparkling innings in his major league debut, and the Chicago Cubs used another defensive mistake by Nolan Jones to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-0 on Monday.

Working in short sleeves on a cold, gray afternoon, Imanaga struck out nine in Chicago's home opener. The Japanese left-hander, who signed a $53 million, four-year contract with the Cubs in January, allowed two singles and walked none.

Dakota Hudson also was impressive in his first start for Colorado, but a pair of errors on Jones on one play in the sixth sent the right-hander to the loss.

With one out and runners on first and second in a scoreless game, Christopher Morel lined a single into left field. The ball went under the glove of a charging Jones and rolled all the way to the wall.

Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki raced home as the Wrigley Field crowd of 40,072 roared its approval. Jones' throw from the warning track got away from second baseman Brendan Rodgers in the outfield grass, and Morel scored on a headfirst slide.

Jones also dropped a routine fly ball during Sunday's 5-1 loss at Arizona, leading to two unearned runs.

Cody Bellinger added a two-run single in the seventh as Chicago earned its second straight win after dropping the first two games of the season at Texas.

Hudson (0-1) was charged with three unearned runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He agreed to a one-year deal with Colorado in free agency.

Yency Almonte worked the seventh for Chicago before Drew Smyly finished the three-hitter.

Imanaga (1-0) was working on a no-hitter before Charlie Blackmon singled to center with two out in the sixth inning. Rodgers followed with another base hit, but Imanaga escaped the jam by fanning Jones.

Colorado got its first baserunner when Kris Bryant reached on third baseman Morel's error in the second. But Ryan McMahon and Elias Díaz struck out swinging before Ezequiel Tovar flied out, ending the inning.


Colorado left-hander Kyle Freeland and Chicago right-hander Javier Assad take the mound on Tuesday night. Freeland (0-1, 38.57 ERA) was rocked for 10 runs and 10 hits in 2 1/3 innings in a 16-1 loss at Arizona on Thursday on opening day. Assad is making his first appearance of the season.



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