Hardy finding groove, gets planned rest from O's

Hardy finding groove, gets planned rest from O's

CLEVELAND -- J.J. Hardy pushed his hitting streak to six games with two clutch hits in the Orioles' 4-3 win over the Indians on Sunday.

Batting .220 on the season, Hardy has started turning things around in the last week. During his hitting streak, he is 7-for-26, but until Sunday, when he hit a two-run home run and a clutch RBI single, he hadn't driven in any runs.

"Personally, I've been on a pretty rough stretch over my last 130, 140 [at-bats]," Hardy said. "For me, it's just trying to stay even. You've got to battle through it and trust yourself. The other thing, with the team winning, it makes it a lot easier on me. If the team is losing and I am struggling, that's a lot harder to take."

Hardy was out of the starting lineup for Monday's series finale at Progressive Field, but he knew he would be resting before the start of yesterday's game.

"I told J.J. last night before his first at-bat," manager Buck Showalter said. "We were laughing about it when he came around after the home run. I was like, 'J.J., I was kidding.' He deserves it."