Orioles @ Red Sox, Hardy to leave team

Greetings from Fenway Park, where the Orioles will take on the Red Sox for a three-game set.

*The big news pre game is shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is leaving for Baltimore tonight where he will be examined by team orthopedist Michael Jacobs, likely on Tuesday morning. Hardy, who has missed three straight games with low back soreness, will probably have an MRI and doesn’t seem overly concerned as he reminded reporters that he was dealing with more aggressive back spasms back in April.

Both Hardy and manager Buck Showalter said this is a precautionary move and if the team, up 9 1/2 games entering today, was in a different situation Hardy would probably play. The O’s are clearly trying to get things right so Hardy is OK for the postseason and there’s no expectation he will return to Boston at any point during this series. With an off day on Thursday and a doubleheader on Friday, Hardy could play on Friday.

Hardy, who has been dealing with this issue for a week, did baseball activities this afternoon at Fenway Park and said throwing was OK but hitting was more of an issue. Hardy missed six games in April, including five consecutive, with back spasms that he says were much more serious. The team is hoping to get in front of the issue this time around.

*Nelson Cruz was named Co-American League Player of the Week along with Miguel Cabrera. Cruz led the Majors in RBIs last week after driving in all seven of Baltimore’s runs on Sunday against the Rays. He’s the first O’s player to rack up seven RBIs since Luke Scott on July 7, 2009 and the first AL player since Garret Anderson (May 8, 2003) to drive in all seven of his team’s runs in a game. The slugger leads the Majors in homers (39) and is second in the AL with 101 RBIs.

*In case you missed it, Major League Baseball announced the 2015 schedule and you can see the Orioles here.

ORIOLES LINEUP
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Chris Davis 3B
Steve Pearce 1B
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 2B

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

RED SOX LINEUP
Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Yoenis Cespedes LF
Mike Napoli 1B
Daniel Nava RF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Will Middlebrooks 3B
David Ross C

Joe Kelly RHP

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