Orioles Take Two of Three from Astros; J.J. Hardy

After a horrible loss on Wednesday where the Houston Astros teed off on Oriole pitching, the rubber game of the three game series was a low-scoring affair.

Thursday’s game was a totally different outcome for the Orioles, as they defeated the Houston Astros, 3-1.

Miguel Gonzalez came through with a quality outing and upped his record to 3-2 as he pitched six innings, struck out seven and gave up two runs. The bullpen – Darren O’Day, Brian Matusz and Jim Johnson – did their job to hold things together.

Johnson earned his 20th save.

The Birds of Baltimore used a three-run fourth inning to secure their 34th win of the season. J.J. Hardy had four hits, Chris David had two; meanwhile, Hardy and Adam Jones each drove in a run.

I’m impressed at how Houston played during the series. They were projected to be terrible; however, they seem to have pretty decent pitching and manager Bo Porter had them hustling. The Astros despite their low payroll and their record are still a professional baseball team and were more of a challenge to the Orioles than expected.

J.J. Hardy #2 of the Baltimore Orioles singles in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 6, 2013 in Houston, Texas.

Speaking about J.J. Hardy, he’s played very well as of late. He was horrible at the plate during the start of the season; however, he has raised his batting average to .266 and has 13 homers and 37 RBIs as of this morning. His on base percentage is .304 – on the mediocre side of things – but he has complemented the offense during the past month.

It’s not a stretch to say this, but Hardy may be one of the better shortstops in the game. He plays solid defense and won a Gold Glove last year at his position. I would never confuse him for let’s say a Cal Ripken; however, Hardy has been a steady presence at the position during his Oriole tenure with his glove and pop in his bat.

That being said, do you think it is outside the realm of possibility that he makes the All-Star team?