J.J. Hardy feels confident he can play on Sunday (plus Norris and Roberts quotes)

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was a late scratch from tonight's starting lineup due to back spasms, provided an update on that after tonight's game.

"Today right before BP, I was getting my glove ready and got up out of my chair and my low back started to spasm on me," Hardy said. "Went in to get some treatment and it has loosened up a lot since."

Does he think he can play on Sunday in the series finale?

"Yeah, I think so," he said. "I feel like I probably could have played tonight. I don't think we wanted to risk anything to make it get worse. I think it definitely got better with the treatment today, so we'll see tomorrow. It should be pretty good."

Hardy said he has dealt with back spasms before, but it's been many years.

"It would have been '07 or '08. Back spasm back then," he said. "I haven't had anything in probably five or six years. Back then, when it would spasm, it would lock up pretty good and I'd be out for a week or so and that is something we didn't want to deal with so we played it safe today.

"I have a pretty good back program that I work with and it's been good for five or six years now. This was kind of a weird thing today. I think it will be fine tomorrow."

O's starter Bud Norris got the win tonight, allowing four runs over 5 2/3 innings. When he came off the mound, he threw his glove down in the dugout and talked about that after the game.

"I had two quick outs in that inning (the sixth) with no one on," he said. "I want to finish that inning to give our bullpen a clean inning and no one has to clean up my mess. We had to use two guys to get through it. I guess that was the fire in me, but my job was to finish that inning. I hope my best is still ahead of me."

Norris had some minor back stiffness during his last start and he did tonight also.

"I started to feel it a little bit," he said. "It is not going to hamper me too much. Just stiff. I have an extra day this week, which will be big. I am going to work with the trainers to work it out so it doesn't come back."

Norris is now 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA in four Orioles starts.

Brian Roberts had a key two-run double during the O's seven-run third inning and talked about getting a much-needed win.

"We needed something to kind of jump start us," Roberts said. "I think everyone breathed a little sigh of relief and said, 'All right, now we are ready to go.' "

Roberts said he hadn't thought about the O's four-game losing streak.

"I think people panic more outside the clubhouse than we do inside the clubhouse," he said. "I think we all feel like we're still in good shape. We didn't play bad on the road trip, we just didn't win some games that were close.

"I don't think we are in a real bad spot. We have a lot of games in our division left. We just want to stay where we are and give ourselves a chance these last 40 games."

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