Hardy does it again

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.


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