Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy beginning to break out of slumps

The Baltimore Sun

Following the Orioles' 8-2 win over the Red Sox on Saturday, center fielder Adam Jones thought about how dangerous the Baltimore lineup could be if two of their most important bats started heating up.

"Just imagine if we can get Reynolds and Hardy going," he said.

And on Sunday, both third baseman Mark Reynolds and shortstop J.J. Hardy showed signs of breaking out of season-long hitting slumps.

Boston seemed to be the perfect remedy for Reynolds, who was 6-for-11 in the three-game series at Fenway, including five extra-base hits (two homers, three doubles). He reached base six times in Sunday's 9-6 17-inning win, going 2-for-3 with a career-high four walks

He raised his batting average 53 points and is now hitting .195. Reynolds is still struggling in the field, having committed his fifth error of the season, but it appears his bat is beginning to come around.

Then there's Hardy, who has done more than his part on defense. But on Sunday, Hardy had a new career-high with five hits, including solo homers in the first and third innings. His 17th-inning double was a key hit in the team's game-winning inning. He raised his batting average 30 points in one day to .217, the first time he's been above .200 since April 17.

Those are two good signs for the Orioles, who have received contributions from across the lineup. If Hardy and Reynolds continue to progress -- just in time for key home series against Texas, Tampa Bay and New York -- the Orioles lineup will be one to be reckoned with.

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