Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki Goes 3 for 5; Christopher Morel’s Slam Boosts Cubs over Padres

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2024; San Diego, California, USA; Chicago Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki (27) hits a single against the San Diego Padres during the third inning at Petco Park.

Christopher Morel cracked a grand slam in a five-run fifth inning as the visiting Chicago Cubs bounced back from a bullpen breakdown on Monday night, beating the San Diego Padres 5-1 on Tuesday.

After blowing an 8-0, sixth-inning lead in the series opener and losing 9-8 when Fernando Tatis Jr. bombed a two-run homer to match San Diego’s biggest comeback in franchise history, Chicago buttoned things down on the back end.

Following 4 2/3 shutout innings from rookie Ben Brown in his first major league start, the Cubs made sure this lead didn’t disappear. Four relievers allowed just a total of one hit — a pinch-hit homer by Eguy Rosario leading off the bottom of the sixth.

Drew Smyly (2-1) was credited with the win, though he allowed San Diego’s only run in his 1 1/3-inning outing. Chicago captured its seventh victory in the past nine games.

Neither team scored until the fifth, although both put runners on in every inning. But Brown and Padres starter Joe Musgrove were able to keep the opponents off the board.

Brown benefitted from two double plays, including one in the first inning where Xander Bogaerts’ leadoff double was erased when he tried to advance from second to third on Tatis’ fly ball to center fielder Cody Bellinger.

Musgrove (1-2) hit the wall to start the fifth. Yan Gomes jumped on a hanging curve and walloped it an estimated 410 feet to left-center. Ian Happ walked, Seiya Suzuki singled and Bellinger was plunked by a pitch to fill the bases.

San Diego manager Mike Shildt replaced Musgrove with Rule 5 Draft pick Stephen Kolek. He fell behind Morel 2-0 and then hung a sweeper that Morel smashed an estimated 431 feet into the second deck in left field.

In four-plus innings, Musgrove was charged with four runs on five hits and three walks, striking out five.

Brown gave up three hits and a walk, whiffing five.