J.J. Hardy is on a mini offensive run for Orioles

August 25, 2012|By Dan Connolly

It's just a blip, certainly not something to get overly excited about, but shortstop J.J. Hardy, who has struggled at the plate most of the season, has a modest five-game hitting streak going on right now.

After his three-hit performance Saturday, that included his 17th homer of the season, Hardy is batting 8-for-21 (.381) in his past five games.

The understated Hardy, who is hitting .232 this season after batting .269 last year, wasn't exactly pounding his chest after Saturday's game.

"It's such a small sample, if you are looking at the last 15 at-bats versus the last 150," said Hardy, who now has 17 homers and 52 RBIs. "It's such a small sample, but any time I can get some hits or help the team win, it feels good for sure."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter, always a Hardy supporter, was encouraged by his shortstop's offensive outburst.

"We all know what J.J.'s capable of. This guy hit 30 home runs and was one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball last year. To see him hit the ball the other way and then hit the ball in the gap, and then another hit, we all know what his potential is," Showalter said. "Through thick and thin he's been consistent with his approach to the game and that's been as much an example he sets handling the adversity that he's had, as far as the challenges of hitting at the level that he spoiled us with last year."

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