Orioles 3, Astros 1

Associated Press  |  Last updated June 06, 2013
J.J. Hardy isn't sure why he always starts slow in April before his hitting picks up in May and June. He said he thinks it could have something to do with growing up in Arizona and not being accustomed to the cold Baltimore spring. Hardy got a season-high four hits and Adam Jones added an RBI double, leading Miguel Gonzalez and the Orioles to a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday. Hardy hit just .202 in April, but has raised his average to .266 since then thanks in part to a recent five-game hitting streak where he has gone 11 for 19 with three homers, two doubles and five RBIs. ''I'm feeling a little bit better,'' he said. ''You look at today's game, I hit three groundballs that happened to get hits. It's not something that you make a huge deal out of, but I'll take them.'' Manager Buck Showalter loves what Hardy brings to his team and raved about the way he goes about his work. ''His style is his substance,'' Showalter said. ''He's just so steady, a steady human being. J.J, he likes to win. He's at a stage in his career where he has individual accomplishments, he's established himself as a quality shortstop. He doesn't tolerate things that aren't conducive to winning, especially from himself.'' Gonzalez (3-2) yielded five hits and a run in six innings, and matched his season-best with seven strikeouts. He slowed down the Astros a day after they hit six home runs in an 11-7 win. The Orioles won their third straight series by taking two of three from Houston. Brandon Barnes led off for Houston with a single, Jason Castro hit a one-out double and J.D. Martinez had a sacrifice fly that made it 1-0 in the first. That was the only inning the Astros got more than one hit. Gonzalez was glad he was able to get back on track after giving up a run in the opening frame. ''It was a relief,'' he said. ''You get there and you get your confidence back and just make good pitches after that.'' Barnes said Gonzalez made it difficult for them to get anything going. ''He mixed things up real well today,'' he said. ''He threw his pitches well in and out, up and down. He really had his fastball going today.'' It was a good beginning to the month for Gonzalez, who had a tough May, going 0-1 in four starts in the month. Baltimore scored just seven runs combined while he was pitching in those starts. ''It's part of baseball,'' he said. ''Sometimes you're going to have good luck and sometimes you're going to have bad luck. I had a good feeling with the baseball and changing speeds, so that helped me out a little bit.'' Gonzalez has a bruised left forearm after being hit by a single hit by J.D. Martinez in the sixth inning, but he said he'll be OK. Darren O'Day took over for Gonzalez and struck out two in 1 2-3 scoreless innings. Brian Matusz got the last out of the eighth before closer Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth for his 20th save. Chris Davis singled to start the Baltimore fourth and scored on a double by Jones to tie it. Jones advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a single by Hardy for a 2-1 lead. A wild pitch by Bud Norris gave the Orioles another run in the inning. Norris (5-5) allowed nine hits while striking out seven in seven innings. Marwin Gonzalez hit a leadoff single in the Houston eighth and Barnes hit a deep fly. Jose Cisnero threw two scoreless innings with three strikeouts for Houston. NOTES: Baltimore's Jason Hammel opposes Tampa Bay's Chris Archer when the Orioles open a three-game series with the Rays on Friday. ... Houston will send Jordan Lyles to the mound against James Shields when the Astros begin a three-game series at Kansas City. ... The Orioles placed reliever Steve Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain and recalled OF Xavier Avery from Triple-A Norfolk. ... Baltimore OF Nick Markakis is expected to rejoin the team on Friday after missing two games to attend his grandmother's funeral. ... Houston 2B Jose Altuve got a day off on Thursday while dealing with a sore groin. Manager Bo Porter said he expects him to return to the lineup on Friday.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A San Diego storm has turned Petco Park into a lake

Top eight storylines for NFL Scouting Combine

Mike D’Antoni calls out Rockets for being ‘soft’ again

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker