Ian Happ 3-run homer helps Cubs beat Cardinals

Shota Imanaga recorded his eighth quality start of the season, Ian Happ blasted a three-run homer and the host Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Saturday afternoon.

Imanaga (7-1) went seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits. He didn’t issue a walk and struck out six as Chicago evened the three-game series with St. Louis at one win apiece.

Trailing 2-1, the Cardinals almost got to Imanaga at the tail end of his outing, with Nolan Arenado getting hit by a pitch to start the seventh ahead of Ivan Herrera’s one-out single. But Dylan Carlson flied out, and on his 103rd pitch of the afternoon, Imanaga fanned Brendan Donovan to keep the Cubs in front.

Happ made St. Louis pay in the bottom of the frame, making it 5-1 with his seventh home run of the year. Happ went 2-for-3 with a walk despite entering Saturday with just one hit over his previous seven games (1-for-24).

Mike Tauchman, Cody Bellinger and Seiya Suzuki also finished with two hits apiece for the Cubs.

Tyson Miller worked a perfect eighth and ninth in relief of Imanaga.

Cardinals starter Andre Pallante (2-3) lasted just 3 1/3 innings, yielding two runs (one earned) and five hits. He didn’t walk anyone while striking out four.

Alec Burleson doubled for St. Louis, which finished with only four hits while seeing a three-game winning streak come to an end.

After Nolan Arenado opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth, Chicago went up 2-1 in the home half of the inning.

Bellinger led off with a single and advanced to third on Suzuki’s base hit before Pallante struck out Happ. Chris Roycroft then took over on the mound and failed to field Nico Hoerner’s dribbler cleanly, allowing Bellinger to score. Roycroft was charged with an error on the play.

Dansby Swanson followed with a groundout that brought Suzuki home, giving the Cubs the lead.