Clifford Ray Williams/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BALTIMORE — Inside the stadium that hosts a number of players many observers believed were snubbed for this year’s All-Star Game, Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ put on show that continued his his red-hot summer — as well as proved that he was the most egregious omission from the Midsummer Classic as well, perhaps?

Happ slugged a three-run home run onto Eutaw Street in the fourth inning to give the Cubs some breathing room in their 9-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles inside Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Tuesday evening. Chicago scored at least one run in the first three frames of the game, including a solo shot by Michel Busch in the first, while Jameson Taillon struck out seven and gave up two runs in six innings of work on the mound for the Cubs, who have won four of their last five.

The lone Cub named an All-Star was tomorrow’s scheduled starter, Shota Imanaga, but Happ, as he’s done since the start of last month, put on an All-Star performance. His credentials for the Home Run Derby were also on display when batting in the fourth inning with runners on second and third and with Chicago holding onto a 4-2 lead. On a 1-2 pitch from Baltimore starter Dean Kremer, Happ unloaded on a cutter and lifted his 14th homer of the season well beyond the high right field wall and onto Eutaw Street, a 395-foot blast that gave the Cubs a 7-2 lead.

His three runs batted in on the evening gives Happ 41 RBI in his last 39 games, a stretch in which he has hit 12 of his 14 homers on the season and has 1.025 OPS. Even Happ’s most glaring weakness, a Major League-worst .171 batting average on the road amongst qualified hitters, turned into a strength, at least for one night.

Tomás Nido hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the second, then took a 4-1 lead in the third on an RBI single by Seiya Suzuki and a fielder’s choice by Christopher Morel after Orioles third baseman Ramón Urías misplayed what should have been an inning-ending double play.

Jordan Westburg got the Orioles on the board with his 15th home run of the season, a solo shot, in the second inning. Before the game, Westburg was named to the AL All-Star team as am injury replacement for Boston’s Rafael Devers.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s game, with photos taken by DC-area photographer Clifford Ray Williams. After clicking on a photo to enlarge the picture, press the left and right arrow buttons on either side of the caption to scroll through the rest of the pictures that appear on the first page, Also, click on the numbers and/or arrow appearing immediately below the picture grid to load the next set of photos. There are 21 pictures in total.

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Tags : Baltimore OriolesChicago CubsIan HappMajor League Baseball

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