Rain Shortens Shota Imanaga Start, as Cubs Beat Dodgers 8-1; Shohei Ohtani Hits an RBI Double in the Eighth to Account for the Dodgers’ Only Run

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Shota Imanaga, of Japan, throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, April 7, 2024.

CHICAGO (AP) — Cody Bellinger homered against his former team, Shota Imanaga threw four shutout innings in a rain-shortened start, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-1 on Sunday.

Imanaga was lifted after the game resumed following a weather delay of nearly three hours. The left-hander allowed two singles, struck out three and walked none, giving him 10 scoreless innings over his first two big league starts.

The Cubs won for the sixth time in seven games. They took two of three in a weekend set that showcased four of the majors’ top Japanese players.

Shohei Ohtani doubled in Mookie Betts in the eighth to account for the Dodgers’ only run. Ohtani also hit a two-out triple in the sixth, but Freddie Freeman bounced to third for the final out of the inning.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, hits an RBI double during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Sunday, April 7, 2024.

Yency Almonte (1-0) struck out two in a scoreless inning for the victory against his former team. Daniel Palencia worked three innings for his first career save.

The Wrigley Field grounds crew worked on the mound and infield throughout the rainy, cold afternoon. The game was stopped with the Cubs leading 6-0 in the bottom of the fourth.

The crowd cheered when the women’s college basketball championship game between Iowa and South Carolina was shown on the videoboard during the delay.

The series reunited members of Team Japan from the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Imanaga, who signed a $53 million, four-year contract with the Cubs in January, struck out Ohtani swinging in the first inning after falling behind 3-1. He also got Ohtani to foul out to third.

Ohtani, who finalized a record $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers in December, hit a two-run homer in his first career game at Wrigley on Friday.

Seiya Suzuki hit a sacrifice fly for Chicago in the second. Suzuki has 10 RBIs in his last five games.

AP Photo/Paul Beaty
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani (17) and Chicago Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki (27) talk before a baseball game Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Chicago.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, another Japanese star who signed a $325 million, 12-year contract with Los Angeles in December, threw five scoreless innings for his first career major league victory Saturday.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (18) signals 1 to photographers after winning his first MLB baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Michael Busch hit a bases-clearing double against his former team to put the Cubs ahead 3-0 in the first. Chicago loaded the bases on first baseman Freeman’s error, a single and a walk.

Busch and Almonte were acquired in a trade with Los Angeles in January.

Gavin Stone (0-1) allowed five runs — one earned — and four hits in three innings for the Dodgers.