Michael Busch, Ian Happ, Jameson Taillon power Cubs past AL East-leading Orioles 9-2


BALTIMORE — Michael Busch and Ian Happ homered, and Jameson Taillon and three relievers combined for a five-hitter as the Chicago Cubs beat the Baltimore Orioles 9-2 on Tuesday night.

Taillon (6-4) allowed two runs and four hits with seven strikeouts and a walk over six innings. The 32-year-old right-hander retired the last 11 batters he faced.

“I thought it was what (Taillon) has been doing all year and that’s just attacking the strike zone,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said. “He just throws so many strikes and he makes hitters swing. He makes them responsible for every single pitch. There are no free pitches. They are all very competitive pitches. He did a wonderful job.”

The Cubs improved to 10-4 against the Orioles since 2014, and have won four of the last five games since Aug. 18, 2022.

Happ’s three-run homer gave Chicago a 7-2 lead in the fourth inning. With his 395-blast to right field, Happ joined Jason Heyward (July 14, 2017) as the only Cubs players to have a homer land on Eutaw Street. Happ, who entered the game with a .171 average on the road — the lowest in the majors among qualifying hitters, according to STATS — finished 2 for 4 with a walk. Happ has posted a 1.025 OPS with 41 RBIs since May 26.

“The start of the season wasn’t what I wanted, but I knew it wasn’t going to last,” Happ said. “To be able to claw back into it and have some really good at-bats, I feel really good about that.”

Rookie Jordan Westburg hit his 15th home run of the season in the second inning for the Orioles, who entered the game with the best record in the American League. Before the game, Westburg was named to the AL All-Star team, replacing Boston’s Rafael Devers, who is dealing with a sore shoulder.

Baltimore, which lost for the fourth time in 12 games, leads MLB with 147 home runs.

Busch had three hits, including his 12th home run, a solo shot that was the first run allowed by Orioles starter Dean Kremer (4-5) in the first inning in 11 starts.

Kremer, who made his second start since coming off the injured list on July 3 with a right triceps strain, allowed seven runs and seven hits over four innings. His ERA increased from 3.93 to 4.42.

“These guys are a good contact team and they got a piece of just about everything,” Kremer said. “I was in and around the zone, and they just put some swings on some decent pitches.”

Tomás Nido hit a sacrifice fly that gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in the second. A diving catch by Orioles right fielder Anthony Santander on a short fly by Nico Hoerner prevented another run from scoring.

The Cubs led 4-1 in the third on an RBI single by Seiya Suzuki and fielder’s choice by Christopher Morel after Orioles third baseman Ramón Urías misplayed a potential inning-ending double play.

Suzuki added an RBI double in the eighth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: Mark Leiter Jr. (right forearm strain) was reinstated from the 15-day IL. Leiter entered in the eighth and retired the three batters he faced. In a corresponding move, Ethan Roberts was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. … OF Pete Crow-Armstrong hit for the first time since getting the stitches on his left thumb and entered the game as a pinch runner in the eighth.

UP NEXT

A pair of All-Star pitchers will square off Wednesday as the Orioles send RHP Corbin Burnes (9-3, 2.32 ERA) against Cubs LHP Shota Imanaga (7-2, 3.16).

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



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