CHICAGO (AP) Nico Hoerner doubled and scored the tying run in the ninth inning, then walked with the bases loaded in the 10th to give the Chicago Cubs a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Chicago entered the ninth with just one hit before Hoerner sparked the late rally as the Cubs avoided the sweep.

“I don’t like to change my at-bats too much in the late opposition, but you do know that if you get on base, you’ve got the guys on our team who have had our best at-bats right behind you, and I have a lot of trust in them,” Hoerner said. ”(Michael) Busch has been so consistent for a long time now, Seiya (Suzuki) as well, so a lot of trust in them and I felt like they had a great chance to try and win the game.”

Cubs All-Star pitcher Shota Imanaga had a career-high 10 strikeouts and gave up two hits over seven innings, including a home run to Eugenio Suárez.

“He’s always staying calm, he’s always stable, he always creates a really good game,” Suzuki of Imanaga through an interpreter. “We’ve had a couple games where we weren’t able to hit in those situations, but he pitched amazing today.”

The Cubs prevailed after Brandon Pfaadt’s dominant day on the mound. The Arizona ace struck out seven and allowed just one hit.

Hoerner doubled down the first-base line to lead off the bottom of the ninth and scored on Suzuki’s one-out single.

Héctor Neris (8-2) picked up the win for Chicago with a scoreless 10th, while Joe Mantiply (3-2) took the loss.

Imanaga opened the game by striking out all three batters in the first and didn’t allow a hit until Randal Grichuk’s single with two outs in the sixth. In the fifth, Imanaga got his eighth strikeout on a low splitter that fooled Arizona’s Jose Herrera, who swung so hard that his bat flew down the third-base line.

“During spring training, I talked with Dansby (Swanson), (Craig) Counsell, (Justin) Steele about how to deal with pressure,” Imanaga said through an interpreter. “I didn’t really feel pressure out there and talking to my teammates, talking to my coaches about it, I think that helped.”

Suárez broke the tie in the seventh, sending a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left field.


Diamondbacks: Manager Torey Lovullo said that LHP Jordan Montgomery felt “really good” after throwing a bullpen session. Montgomery is currently on the 15-day IL.

Cubs: Placed RHP Hayden Wesneski on the 15-day injured list Saturday with a right forearm strain. In a corresponding move, Chicago recalled RHP Hunter Bigge from Triple-A Iowa.


Diamondbacks RHP Yilber Diaz (1-0, 1.50 ERA) is set to make his third career start Monday at Kansas City. The Cubs will host the Brewers in a three-game series beginning Monday and plan to start RHP Javier Assad (4-3, 3.27).



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