Ian Happ finished with three hits Thursday afternoon, including the tie-breaking, two-run double in the seventh inning that sparked the host Chicago Cubs to a 5-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in the first game of the Major League Baseball season.
The Cubs, whose streak of six straight winning seasons ended when they went 71-91 in 2021, improved to 80-65-2 all-time on Opening Day. The Brewers, who have made a franchise-record four consecutive playoff appearances, fell to 28-25-1 on Opening Day.
The Cubs took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Patrick Wisdom and a two-run home run by Nico Hoerner before the Brewers tied the score in the top of the seventh against Chris Martin (1-0), who surrendered Willy Adames’ RBI double and Christian Yelich’s sacrifice fly.
The Cubs wasted little time building the winning rally against Aaron Ashby (0-1) and Jake Cousins. Clint Frazier, pinch-hitting for Rafael Ortega, delivered a one-out double and went to third on a groundout by Nick Madrigal. Cousins entered and plunked Willson Contreras before Happ scored both runners by doubling to deep centerfield on a 3-2 pitch.
The Brewers cut the gap in half against Rowan Wick in the eighth, when Rowdy Tellez led off with a single, went to third on a one-out double by Victor Caratini and scored on Lorenzo Cain’s sacrifice fly.
Mychal Givens entered and struck out Mike Brosseau before David Robertson earned the save by working around a hit in the ninth.
Jason Heyward had two hits while Seiya Suzuki, making his MLB debut after nine seasons as a star in his native Japan, went 1-for-2 with two walks.
Cain also had an RBI groundout in the first for the Brewers. Adames, Tellez and Andrew McCutchen all had two hits each.
Kyle Hendricks, making his third straight Opening Day start for the Cubs, allowed one run on five hits and three walks while striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings. Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes allowed three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four over five innings in his first Opening Day start for the Brewers.
–Field Level Media