It’s a glove story for Andino (updated)

When did Robert Andino become a Gold Glove second baseman?

His struggles at the position in spring training 2010 caused the Orioles to acquire Julio Lugo late in camp and outright Andino to Triple-A Norfolk.

He doesn’t look like he’s struggling anymore.

Andino made another fine play tonight, ranging up the middle to backhand Casey Kotchman’s ground ball and flipping to J.J. Hardy for the force to end the third inning. Jeremy Guthrie had walked Evan Longoria with two outs, and he needed some assistance behind him.

Andino prevented two balls from scooting into right field in the ninth inning of Wednesday night’s game against Oakland, and he dazzled last night as part of that 1-4-6-3 double play.

Hardy has needed crash courses in learning his double play partners since the Orioles traded for him in December. It’s Brian Roberts. No, wait, it’s Cesar Izturis. Actually, it’s Andino. Or maybe it’s Ryan Adams.

It’s mostly Andino, and if he keeps playing like this in the field, it’s going to stay that way.

Hardy has been a model of consistency this season. He fields the ball cleanly and makes accurate throws. He’s reminding a few folks here of Mike Bordick.

“He’s better than I thought he was, and I didn’t have much to go on,” manager Buck Showalter said earlier today. “I guess I just didn’t know as much. I was learning on Willie (Randolph), who was with him in Milwaukee and our scouts. I talked to John Russell about him, too. The guy’s been in the National League. I just didn’t know how solid he is.

“He’s a baseball player. He gets the game. You watch him between pitches and between innings, he’s always got an intelligent answer to any question about baseball. He doesn’t make many mental mistakes and when he does, he knows exactly what happened. We were going over a bunt defense and a relay situation in Boston and he was right on top of it.”

The Rays continue to lead, 1-0, in the bottom of the fourth inning. Guthrie has allowed four hits, walked two and struck out two, and he’s thrown 61 pitches.

The only run of the game scored with two outs in the first inning on Longoria’s double to center field. Adam Jones nearly made a leaping catch on the warning track, but he couldn’t hold onto the ball.

The Rays had a walk and single in the second inning, a walk in the third and a single in the fourth, but Guthrie keeps escaping trouble.

Update: The Rays scored twice in the top of the fifth, collecting two doubles and two singles, but Mark Reynolds hit his 11th home run in the bottom half of the inning.

A run for Guthrie! Stop the presses!

Reynolds has five homers in his last 11 games. This one traveled to right-center field and was measured at 392 feet.

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