Hardy’s clutch hit pro­pels O’s to an­other se­ries win

ORIOLES 2, REDS 1 (10)

The Washington Post - - BASEBALL - BY ED­UARDO A. ENCINA

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.

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