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Cubs’ Ian Happ hits home run in major-league debut

Cubs prospect Ian Happ made a favorable impression in spring training. |
Ross D. Franklin/AP

Ian Happ’s first hit in the major leagues was a home run, but it couldn’t help the Cubs in a 5-3 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday.

Happ, the Cubs’ first-round draft pick in 2015 (ninth overall), homered to right field against Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez with a man on in the seventh inning. Happ hit a changeup 413 feet and had an exit velocity of 104.2 mph.

The Cubs bought Happ’s contract from Class AAA Iowa before the game and started him in right field. Pitcher Felix Pena was optioned to Iowa.

The Cubs are short on outfielders. Jason Heyward is on the 10-day disabled list with a finger injury. Kris Bryant, who had been playing some in right, missed his second consecutive game with the stomach flu. And Jon Jay left the game Friday with back spasms.

Happ was hitting .298 with nine home runs and 25 RBI in 26 games with Iowa.