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Hardy scratched due to back spasms

DETROIT -- Shortstop J.J. Hardy was a late scratch from Sunday's game and had his batting practice cut short with another back spasm, this time in a different place.

Hardy almost missed Friday's game and had been dealing with a nagging back spasm, which he played through on Wednesday and Thursday before taking the series opener in Detroit off. Though his most recent spasm is in a different place, it's still a concern for the struggling Orioles, who have been without their starting shortstop for two of three games.

Hardy last season became just the fourth player to hit three or more home runs off Sunday's Tigers starter Justin Verlander in one season, and he entered the game a career .258 (8-for-31) with three homers and seven RBIs against Detroit's ace.

Ryan Flaherty moved from third base to take Hardy's place, with Jonathan Schoop getting the start at third.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
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