BALTIMORE -- Shortstop J.J. Hardy was a late scratch from Thursday's 9-5 Orioles win with tightness on his left side but said he isn't overly concerned and is cautiously optimistic he will be back starting on Friday.
Hardy said he's not in any pain, but he was experiencing some discomfort while playing catch in preparation for the game. Word got back to Buck Showalter with about 10 minutes to game time, and the O's manager sought out Hardy, who said he had never had tightness in that area before.
"He didn't like it, thought it was better to be safe than sorry," Hardy said of Showalter's decision to play Cesar Izturis instead. "I think it was the right decision."
Hardy said the only time he really felt discomfort was swinging full-bore, and given Thursday's cold temperature, Showalter decided it wasn't worth risking.
"I wasn't going to [use Hardy]," Showalter said. "I just talked to him, and he said after a couple innings getting treatment, he felt like it was a good idea. I'd rather him say, 'Hey, I didn't feel anything. We probably didn't have to do that,' so we'll see what [Friday] brings. That's the great thing about having Izzy and Robert [Andino], too."
Izturis went 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a walk.