Suzuki homers to extend hot start, Cubs beat Rockies 6-4
DENVER (AP) — Seiya Suzuki hit his fourth home run, extending an impressive start to his major league career, and the Chicago Cubs defeated the Colorado Rockies 6-4 on Sunday.
Willson Contreras also went deep for the Cubs. Nick Madrigal had three hits and Nico Hoerner drove in two runs.
Suzuki is batting .400 and has hit safely in eight straight games with an at-bat. The 27-year-old outfielder from Japan has reached base in all nine games with the Cubs.
“To me what has stood out is just how calm the at-bats are,” manager David Ross said. “You hear about the plate discipline and the contact, but just being able to find his pitches and not chase outside the strike zone with the velocity that’s here and some of the nasty stuff that he’s faced has been really impressive.”
Rowan Wick (1-0) won in relief and David Robertson earned his third save.
Ryan McMahon homered for the Rockies.
The Cubs roughed up Colorado starter Austin Gomber (0-1) for five runs — four earned — in 4 1/3 innings. Contreras hit a solo homer in the first, Hoerner had a two-run double in the second and Frank Schwindel made it 4-0 with an RBI single in the third.
“I was just a little bit off,” Gomber said. “I thought I got better as the game got on, my stuff got better. The shape of my off-speed pitches early on was not typical for me so I knew something was off. They were aggressive and made me pay.”
Gomber exited in the fifth after he intentionally walked Suzuki to load the bases. Yan Gomes hit an RBI single off reliever Ashton Goudeau.
Suzuki wasn’t bothered by the intentional walk.
“The bases get loaded so now it creates a bigger chance for the team,” he said through translator Toy Matsushita. “That’s the most important thing.”
Chicago starter Drew Smyly struck out four in 4 2/3 innings and left after a single by Yonathan Daza put runners on first and second with two outs. Scott Effross got Connor Joe to ground out to end the inning, but the Rockies came back in the sixth.
Elias Diaz’s RBI single gave Colorado its first run and McMahon hit his first homer of the year off Michael Rucker to make it 5-3.
Suzuki’s solo homer in the seventh made it a three-run game.
“It’s been really impressive so far,” Ross said.
Colorado loaded the bases twice in the bottom of the seventh but managed just one run on Kris Bryant’s sacrifice fly.
WISDOM SHOWS SOME TEETH
Chicago third baseman Patrick Wisdom was hitting .048 after going 0 for 4 on Thursday night but found his groove the rest of the weekend. He had two doubles Friday night and followed that with three hits in Saturday night’s loss. He continued to produce with another double and two walks Sunday.
Wisdom had five doubles in the series and raised his batting average to .233.
Cubs: RHP Alec Mills (lower back strain) threw a bullpen Saturday and is expected to face hitters in the coming days. The next step would be a minor league rehab assignment. ... LHP Wade Miley (left elbow inflammation) threw off a mound Saturday for the first time since spring training.
Rockies: Placed INF Garrett Hampson on the 10-day injured list with a bruised right hand and recalled infielder Colton Welker from Triple-A Albuquerque. ... OF Randal Grichuk returned to the lineup after missing three games with back soreness. He went 2 for 4.
Cubs: RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 7.00 ERA) opens a home series against Tampa Bay on Monday night.
Rockies: RHP Chad Kuhl (0-0, 2.08) makes his home debut when Colorado begins a three-game series against Philadelphia on Monday night.
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