Hardy feeling more comfortable with Orioles

JON KRAWCZYNSKI AP Baseball Writer Published:

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles told J.J. Hardy to swing for the fences, and he responded with a career year.

Hardy is back for his second season in Baltimore, with the comfort of a three-year $22.25 million extension he signed to stick around for a while.

The Orioles locked him up after seeing Hardy flourish in their free-swinging system. He hit a career-high 30 homers with 80 RBIs in 129 games. Hardy credits finally getting an injured right wrist that had bothered him for most of 2010 healed. He also says he was just doing what the Orioles coaches wanted, to drive the ball into the seats.

Hardy hit six homers in 101 games for the Twins, who urged him to use the whole field and hit line drives.