Hardy’s clutch hit propels O’s to another series win
ORIOLES 2, REDS 1 (10)
cincinnati — The Baltimore Orioles didn’t necessarily bring their bats to Cincinnati, scoring a total of seven runs in their three games against the Reds at Great American Ball Park, but they continued their early season trend of emerging victorious from close games.
Shortstop J. J. Hardy provided the extra-inning heroics in Thursday night’s interleague series finale, hitting a two-out RBI single off Reds reliever Blake Wood in the 10th inning to score Mark Trumbo from second base for the winning run in a 2-1 victory.
After taking two of three in Cincinnati, the Orioles (10-4) have won six of their past eight and finished their first road trip of the season — a three-city, nine-game trip through Boston, Toronto and Cincinnati — with a 6-3 record. They are 4-0-1 in five series this season.
Eight of the Orioles’ 10 wins this season have been by two runs or fewer.
Hardy’s game-winning hit atoned for a critical base-running error in the fifth inning.
The Orioles botched a potential scoring opportunity when Hardy’s line drive toward center fielder Billy Hamilton sailed over Hamilton’s head.
But when Hardy attempted to extend the hit to a triple, he was thrown out by shortstop Zack Cozart’s relay to third base for the second out of the inning.
In the 10th inning, Trumbo drew a one-out, six-pitch walk, then moved to second on Jonathan Schoop’s groundout. Hardy then battled back from an 0-2 count, fouling off two pitches before looping a single into shallow center field as rain began to fall for the third time on the night.
The only two runs in the first nine innings came on solo homers. Schoop homered off former Oriole Scott Feldman in the second, and Reds first baseman Joey Votto hit a shot off Orioles left-hander Wade Miley in the fourth.
Schoop has hit safely in his past eight games and is 12 for 30 with six extra-base hits — three doubles and three homers — during that stretch.
Over that span, Schoop has raised his season batting average from .105 to .283.
Miley gave the Orioles their deepest start of the season, allowing just one run over eight innings and tying his career high with 11 strikeouts.
Right-hander Brad Brach — filling in for injured closer Zach Britton — recorded the save for the second straight night, retiring the Reds in order in the 10th.