Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 7/18/12
J.J. Hardy is one of the players Baltimore manager Buck Showalter knows he can lean on when things get tough. The Orioles are having a pretty hard time lately, and for one of the few times in Hardy's season and a half in Baltimore, the steady shortstop faltered in a big moment. Hardy's throwing error in the seventh inning led to two runs that proved to be the difference in a 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night. ''It's frustrating, for sure,'' Hardy said. ''Whenever defense or pitching lets us down, or even hitting, it's frustrating.'' The game was tied with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Jamey Carroll and Denard Span reached on back-to-back singles. Hardy's errant throw got past Mark Reynolds at first base on a play that was ruled a hit for Span and an error that allowed Carroll to advance to third. ''It was a tough play,'' said Hardy, who committed just his fifth error of the season. ''Denard's fast. I didn't get a good grip on it and just tried to get...
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