Is there any reason to drop J.J. Hardy from the leadoff spot?
Maybe when Brian Roberts is activated from the disabled list. Otherwise...
Hardy has made two career starts as a leadoff hitter. He’s homered in the first inning in both games. If that isn’t a pattern, I don’t know what qualifies.
Hardy jumped on a 1-0 pitch from Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson tonight and drove it an estimated 388 feet into the left field seats. Three nights ago, he homered on an 0-1 pitch from Oakland starter Guillermo Moscoso in the first inning in his first career start atop the order.
Hellickson hadn’t allowed a run to the Orioles in two starts covering 14 innings before tonight.
Hardy has six home runs this season despite missing a month with a strained left oblique. Cesar Izturis hit three in two seasons as the Orioles’ starting shortstop.