07/23/12 6:21 PM ET
Hardy finding groove, gets planned rest from O's
By Stephen Ellsesser / Special to MLB.com
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."
O's righty Pineiro slated for surgery on Tuesday
CLEVELAND -- Orioles pitcher Joel Pineiro will have surgery Tuesday.
Pineiro will have a SLAP tear repaired. SLAP stands for "superior labral tear from anterior to posterior." Orioles manager Buck Showalter was not sure what kind of timetable Pineiro was on for a return from the injury, but the state of the right-hander's rotator cuff will have a big say in that.
Meanwhile, All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts, who is recovering from a right hip labral tear, continues to improve. Roberts took batting practice, fielded ground balls, and ran Monday. Roberts is on the 15-day disabled list, dating back to July 2.
Pitcher Stu Pomeranz is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list July 25, but it remains unclear whether he will need more time to recover from his torn left oblique. Showalter said Pomeranz would see his doctor Tuesday.
Quintanilla makes first start in Orioles' lineup
CLEVELAND -- Omar Quintanilla made his first start with his new team Monday.
The Orioles traded for Quintanilla on Friday, and he came in as a defensive sub Saturday and Sunday.
Quintanilla will start in place of J.J. Hardy at shortstop. Manager Buck Showalter also gave Mark Reynolds a day off, moving Chris Davis to first base and allowing Endy Chavez to make a start in left field.
"I wanted to give J.J. and Mark a day," Showalter said. "I wanted to give Chavey and Q a start before we got out [of Cleveland]."
Quintanilla figures to be an option for the Orioles not only at shortstop, but also at second base. All-Star Brian Roberts is on the disabled list, and Ryan Flaherty will make his fourth straight start at second Monday.
"Having Q here gives us that opportunity," Showalter said of his lineup options. "He's probably had the most Major League time at shortstop, other than J.J."
Wilson Betemit's eighth-inning solo home run Sunday proved to be the game's decisive run. The 438-footer broke a 21-game homerless streak for Betemit, who last homered June 26. Betemit's drought spanned 74 at-bats.
The Orioles play well in tight spots, going 19-6 in one-run games entering Monday. Baltimore is 8-0 in one-run games since June 22.
Jim Johnson recorded his 30th save Sunday. He reached the mark in 95 games, the second-fastest Orioles pitcher to hit 30 saves. In 1994, Lee Smith reached 30 saves in 87 games.
Nick Markakis had two hits Sunday, and he is batting .364 (16-for-44) in 10 games since coming off the disabled list.
Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.