MLB: Brewers get first look at Cubs sensation Shota Imanaga

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The Brewers’ struggles against the Chicago Cubs starting pitching won’t get any easier when they face Shota Imanaga on Wednesday in Milwaukee.

Imanaga (5-0, 0.84 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Bryse Wilson (3-1, 2.86 ERA). Milwaukee has not scored in 32 1/3 innings against the Cubs starting pitching in five games this season.

The Brewers have yet to see Imanaga, a 30-year-old left-hander who is in his first major league season after pitching in Japan.

The Cubs evened the four-game series at a win apiece with a 6-3 victory Tuesday night, erupting for five runs in the 10th inning to snap a five-game skid.

Michael Tauchman ignited the Cubs decisive 10th with a line-drive RBI single off the pitching elbow of reliever Trevor Megill, who couldn’t continue. Chicago then tacked on four more to go up 6-1.

Megill threw only three pitches before leaving but was tagged with the loss.

Milwaukee, held to one hit through 8 2/3 innings, tied it 1-1 on Willy Adames’ RBI single with two outs in the night.

Cubs rookie Ben Brown tossed seven hitless innings, allowing just two walks and striking out a career high 10, before being lifted after 93 pitches. Brewers starter Freddy Peralta allowed just a solo homer and three hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out 11.

Megill did not sustain a fracture, Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. Megill, who has assumed the closer’s role, has a team-high eight saves in nine chances.

“He got drilled pretty hard,” Murphy said. “He’s going to be good and sore for a while.”

Murphy could not explain his club’s lack of offensive success against the Cubs rotation.

“Their starting pitching is very, very capable,” Murphy said. “But there’s a lot of teams, their starting pitching’s great, and we’ve been OK against them. This particular team, in our games, we haven’t been able to figure it out.”

The Cubs have won three of five against the National League Central-leading Brewers.

Imanaga’s 0.84 ERA is the lowest in the majors and the lowest ERA of any starting pitcher, excluding openers, in major league history through their first nine career starts since earned runs became a statistic in 1913.

Imanaga has not allowed a run in five of his nine starts. In his most recent outing, he tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits with seven strikeouts and one walk, but did not get the decision in a 1-0 victory over the Pirates on May 18.

After his scheduled start on Friday in St. Louis was rained out, Imanaga was pushed back several days to give him additional rest.

“He is making a transition to a different league, to a different travel schedule, to a different culture,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell told MLB.com. “Know that that puts more on him. And that, like I’ve said, if we can just take a small piece and do some things to refill the tank, so to speak, that in the long run, it could be beneficial.”

Wilson has been one of the Brewers’ most consistent starters since being plugged into an injury-riddled rotation.

In his most recent outing, Wilson followed an opener and allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings to get the victory in a 7-2 win at Boston on Friday.

Wilson will be making his seventh start and 14 appearance. He is 0-1 with a 2.20 ERA as a starter and 3-0 with a 4.11 ERA in relief.

Wilson is 1-2 with a 5.55 ERA in 10 career games (six starts) against the Cubs.

–Field Level Media

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