J.J. Hardy out of Orioles’ lineup for sixth straight game

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Last week the Orioles seemed optimistic that J.J. Hardy’s back spasms would be a minor issue, but tonight the shortstop will be out of the lineup for the sixth consecutive game.

Hardy feels good enough that he told reporters he hopes to play Saturday, but the Orioles are reaching the point where a disabled list stint makes more sense if he can’t rejoin the lineup then.

Hardy had a lot of injuries early in his career, but he played 159 games last season and 158 games in 2012. In his absence Ryan Flaherty has slid over from third base to shortstop, with Jonathan Schoop taking over at third base.

There have been three walkoff grand slams in the past week

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Last night Jason Kipnis led the Indians to victory over the Chicago White Sox via a walkoff grand slam. Such a beast is a pretty special, but lately they’ve been surprisingly common. Indeed, Kipnis’ walkoff slam was the third one in the space of a week.

Francisco Mejia of the Padres hit a walkoff salami on Sunday afternoon to lead San Diego over the Texas Rangers. Sal Perez of the Royals did the deed on Friday against the Twins.

As Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com tweeted this morning, there were only two walkoff grand slams in the entire 2016 season. Having three in a week is pretty darn cool, eh?