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Omar Vizquel

J.J. Hardy, the Orioles' best hitter in September, no longer making quiet contributions

J.J. Hardy, the Orioles' best hitter in September, no longer making quiet contributions

Over the past two months, Orioles manager Buck Showalter has so often used some iteration of Friday’s declaration that shortstop J.J. Hardy has “quietly been very solid” that it has ceased being quiet.

Even on a day when he made a rare error at shortstop, Hardy was still his sure-handed self and contributed a team-high three hits to continue what has been a scalding September. That helped the Orioles keep pace in a manic playoff race Friday with a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

“J.J. is probably moving and playing as well as I’ve seen him play, and he’s played real well here,” Showalter said. “He’s, I don’t want...

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