Honoring Hardy, Sisco’s first start, Scott’s second game and more

jj-hardy-white-batting.jpgIt is not often when a player gets a standing ovation that players in the dugouts join in. But that happened for Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy yesterday when he came to bat in the bottom of the first inning.

It was a pretty special moment at Camden Yards.

“I did notice that,” Hardy said. “It was special. Those are guys that I played against for the last seven years. I have all the respect for all of them, and it was pretty cool to see them also clapping.”

The Orioles fans were very aware that Hardy may have been playing his last game at Camden Yards and they sure showed Hardy thier appreciation for his O’s career.

Hitting just .212 with three homers at gametime, Hardy connected for his fourth home run in the fourth inning and it was big. His two-run homer broke a 4-4 tie and led to another special moment when he got a curtain call.

“Manny (Machado) shoved me out there. I didn’t really have a choice. Also, another cool moment. Today is a day that I’ll always remember, for sure,” Hardy said.

Sisco goes deep again: In his ninth MLB plate appearance, and first start, Chance Sisco hit his second big league homer on Sunday. He hit a fastball for a two-run shot in the sixth and that gave the Orioles an 8-4 lead on their way to a 9-4 win.

“Was just looking for a fastball to hit and got to a 2-0 count. He threw it in a spot that I was kind of looking for and put the barrel on it,” Sisco said simply of his 392-foot homer, that had a 101 mph exit velocity.

Sisco is now 4-for-8 with the Orioles with a double, two homers and three RBIs. Sisco hit seven homers in 97 games this season for Triple-A Norfolk. But he hit three over his last 28 at-bats for the Tides. So he has hit five homers in his past 36 at-bats between Norfolk and Baltimore.

In his first start behind the plate, Sisco caught a game where O’s pitchers did not allow a run after the second inning.

“It was very exciting to see my name in the starting lineup,” Sisco said. Just tried to work with the pitchers, have a clean game and try to get the win.”

The last three players to be named the Orioles minor league Player of the Year are now on the big league roster. Trey Mancini was the winner in 2015, Sisco in 2016 and Austin Hays this year.

Scott’s second game: It was late in the game Saturday night and some may not have been paying much attention at that point. But young lefty Tanner Scott pitched in his second big league game. He got a strikeout and flyout to end the Tampa Bay ninth inning. He threw nine pitches, all fastballs, with an average velocity of 97.7 mph, topping at 99.

Scott had allowed two runs in an inning in his big league debut Wednesday at Boston.

“It was a lot calmer,” Scott said of the outing against the Rays. “I didn’t have all that adrenaline pumping but I had some. But it was easy to calm down.”

When the big league season ends, Scott will head out to the Arizona Fall League for the third year in a row. He said he will be used as a starter and he assumes in a similar fashion to how he was used when he pitched at Double-A Bowie this season. He threw three-inning outings. That league is a good test for a young pitcher.

“It’s more baseball, so I like it. Just going to go out there and keep doing what I’m doing. The AFL is good because there are a lot of top prospects and you see a lot of good young, talented hitters,” Scott said.

A few more notes: The Orioles have scored 15 runs the past two games. They had scored 42 runs in the previous 16 games. They are 10-for-25 (.400) batting with runners in scoring position the last two days.

Hardy ranks second on the Orioles’ all-time home runs list by a shortstop with 107 trailing Cal Ripken, Jr., who is well ahead of the pack at 345. He ranks third on the club’s all-time RBI list by a shortstop (384), behind Miguel Tejada (411) and Ripken (1,328). Since 2011, he ranks third among MLB shortstops with 107 home runs, and ranks fifth with 384 RBIs.

Mancini was 0-for-4 before he singled in the eighth on Sunday. That hit extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games. He is batting .322 (19-for-59) during the streak with four doubles, a triple, one homer, six runs and four RBIs.

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