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Hardy scratched with back spasms for second time in three games

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

Already trying to snap a four-game losing streak entering Sunday’s game against the Detroit Tigers, the Orioles were forced to scratch shortstop J.J. Hardy for the second time in three games as he continues to deal with lower back spasms.

Hardy was originally slated to play with Tigers starter Justin Verlander on the hill, but manager Buck Showalter removed him from the lineup less than an hour before first pitch as the 31-year-old experienced spasms in a different spot than he did Friday when he missed the opening game of the Detroit series. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in the Orioles’ 7-6 loss on Saturday.

The All-Star shortstop’s back issues aren’t an encouraging development for Baltimore as third baseman Manny Machado continues to work his way back to full strength from offseason knee surgery and started the season on the 15-day disabled list. Ryan Flaherty was moved from third base to take Hardy’s place at shortstop while rookie Jonathan Schoop was inserted in Sunday’s lineup to play at third.

Hardy is 5-for-15 in four games this season and had three career homers against Verlander, making his absence disappointing as the Orioles were facing the 2011 American League Cy Young Award winner and Most Valuable Player.

 

 

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