Since returning from a left thumb injury that kept him out for three games, Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy entered Tuesday with six hits in 16 at-bats, including three multihit games out of four.

Through Monday, Hardy was batting .396 in August while still playing through pain in his thumb.

“I don’t know,” said Hardy, who turned 32 on Tuesday. “Maybe I’m not trying to do too much because I can’t. That’s my only explanation, but [the thumb injury] is definitely not in the past. … Swing and misses don’t feel good. I’ve just got to limit that. I’m taking less swings [in batting practice] and probably at about 50 percent.”

Hardy, who also missed eight games in April with lower back spasms and a right hamstring strain, is used to playing through injury. And at this point of the season — with players managing various bumps and bruises from a long year — it’s not rare for player to limit their pregame work.