Suzuki and Young Hit Two-Run Homers, Taillon Pitches Six Scoreless as Cubs Blank Rockies

Chicago Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki runs to first base after hitting a single during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Chicago on Friday.

CHICAGO (AP) — Seiya Suzuki and Jared Young each hit two-run homers, Jameson Taillon pitched six scoreless innings and the struggling Chicago Cubs improved their playoff chances with a 6-0 win over the Colorado Rockies Friday.

Suzuki is the third Japanese-born major leaguer to hit at least 20 home runs while driving in at least 70 runs in a season; joining Hideki Matsui and Shohei Ohtani.

Chicago had lost 10 of 13 but it will remain at least tied with Miami for the third and final National League wild card berth. The Marlins will play the Brewers Friday night. Cincinnati, which plays host to Pittsburgh later, was a half-game behind the two teams at the start of the day.

Suzuki singled in the opening inning to bring home Chicago’s first run, then tagged starter Noah Davis (0-3) for his 20th homer in the fourth.

“Yesterday I didn’t get any hits,” Suzuki said through a translator after getting three hits, knocking in three runs and scoring twice. “To bounce back off of that and get a few hits today with a homer is something I’m really, really happy about.”

Young added his second home run in the sixth off reliever Gavin Hollowell and Dansby Swanson had an RBI single in the seventh off Brent Suter.

“The wins, right now, they all feel good; no matter how you get ‘em,” Cubs manager David Ross said after his club stopped a two-game skid.

Taillon (8-10) allowed four hits, walked four and struck out seven to end a streak of seven winless starts. He allowed runners into scoring position in three of his first four innings but worked out of trouble each time.

“This team went out and got me for a reason and I had an opportunity to go out and kind of prove them right,” said Taillon, who signed as a free agent before the season. “Having a good game on a day like today when we really needed it felt really good.”

Drew Smyly and Hayden Wesneski worked the final three innings to finish the shutout.

Davis allowed four hits and three earned runs while walking two and striking out four in the first five innings. The last-place Rockies (56-97) have lost five straight and inched closer to the club’s first-ever 100-loss season.