PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Orioles wanted an offensive upgrade at shortstop.
They got it.
I know it's only spring training, but J.J. Hardy is batting .388 after going 3-for-4 today. He singled twice, doubled and knocked in two runs, and the Orioles are taking a 7-2 lead over the Rays into the bottom of the eighth inning.
Hardy has two homers and 10 RBIs to go with that impressive average.
Brian Roberts went 2-for-3 with a home run, walk and sacrifice fly. His average has climbed to .321.
Matt Wieters had a run-scoring double in the eighth. He's batting .245 with six RBIs.
Felix Pie has singled, walked and made a great running catch in center field in the fourth inning. Pie's walk came after a lengthy at-bat against Cesar Ramos. He kept fouling off pitches against the left-hander to stay alive.
Pie was replaced by a pinch-runner, and teammates greeted him enthusiastically in the dugout, led by Luke Scott. It was a scene normally associated with a home run, but it showed how much they respected the way Pie battled.