Chicago Cubs Scores and Recaps (3/16/24): Cubs 7, Royals 6; Cubs 4, Angels 3 – Morel, Gomes, and Suzuki Lead Cubs to Split Squad Sweep

The Cubs played a split-squad Saturday, facing the Royals at Sloan Park and the Angels in Tempe. Chicago’s teams jumped out to big leads in both games and were able to hold on for a pair of one-run victories.

The Cubs got off to a flying start at Sloan when Seiya Suzuki, Cody Bellinger, and Yan Gomes hit back-back-back home runs off of Jordan Lyles in the bottom of the 1st inning. Drew Smyly surrendered a game-tying three-run shot to MJ Melendez in the 3rd.

Chicago retook the lead when Gomes hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the frame. Suzuki doubled the advantage when he parked his second dinger in the 4th to make it 7-3. Kansas City rallied to within a single run but would fall by a score of 7-6. (Box score)

David Peralta put the Cubs on top in Tempe with an RBI single in the opening inning. Christopher Morel crushed a long two-run bomb in the 3rd inning to put his team ahead 3-0. Ben Brown got the start and threw four shutout frames in his outing.

Mike Tauchman added a sacrifice fly in the 4th inning to increase the margin to 4-0. Taylor Ward cut Chicago’s lead in half with a two-run homer against reliever Keegan Thompson in the 6th. The Angels added one more in the 9th before falling short 4-3. (Box score)

Why the Cubs Won

They jumped out to big leads in both games and held on late. They also displayed a lot of extra-base power, especially in Mesa.

Stats That Matter

  • Suzuki was a perfect 3-for-3 Saturday with a single in addition to the two home runs and looks very locked in.
  • Adbert Alzolay and Julian Merryweather were very sharp closing out the game against the Royals.
  • Morel also singled and walked and did not get out against the Angels.
  • The Cubs may need Brown during the season at some point so it’s good to see him be so effective.

Bottom Line

There is a lot to like with the Cubs offense right now. Numerous hitters in the lineup look poised for huge seasons. Suzuki is probably on top of that list after his tremendous finish in 2023. Chicago’s right fielder shows absolutely no signs of slowing down this spring.

On Deck

The Cubs welcome the Rangers to Sloan Park for a St. Patrick’s Day matchup at 3:05pm CT. Javier Assad gets the start and you can watch it on Marquee.

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