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Michael Busch homers for Chicago Cubs against former team

 The Associated Press  |    Apr 5th, 2024 4:48pm EDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Michael Busch engaged in some friendly banter with some of his former teammates before the Chicago Cubs kicked off their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Then he really had some fun.

Busch walked and scored during Chicago’s five-run second inning on Friday, and then hit his first homer with the Cubs in the third. He was acquired in a January trade with the Dodgers.

“I think Michael’s going to be just a kind of consistent presence. I think that’s what he is right now,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said. “And then just trying to stack at-bats for him in this league, and as he does that, I think his offense … as you get comfortable with what the league can do, he’s just going to get better and better.”

Busch, 26, was selected by Los Angeles in the first round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of North Carolina. He was the Pacific Coast League MVP in 2023, batting .323 with 27 homers and 90 RBIs in 98 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

He also made his major league debut with the Dodgers last year, but the infielder hit just .167 in 27 games for the NL West champions.

Unable to find a regular playing spot on the loaded Dodgers, he was shipped off to Chicago along with reliever Yency Almonte for two prospects.

“I think the organization itself, coming up through it, just had great people. Nothing but good things. Worked hard,” Busch said.

“I was saying a little earlier, you can put in as much work as you can, but you have to have people around you that, behind the scenes, (hit) ground balls, putting in the work on video and stuff like that. Coaches and players that came up with me, they were awesome. Very thankful for it, for sure.”

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB