BOSTON - J.J. Hardy homered with one out in the top of the first inning to give the Orioles a quick 1-0 lead.
Hardy has five homers this season. Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz has allowed eight in 30 innings.
Ryan Flaherty estimated that he’s got 30 friends and family members at today’s game. The Rule 5 pick from Maine has been feeling right at home in Fenway Park.
Manager Buck Showalter told reporters yesterday that he wanted to get Flaherty into a game this weekend, and sure enough, Flaherty is batting first and starting in left field.
“I want to get everybody in,” Showalter said. “And you can’t come to Boston for three days and not play a guy named Flaherty.”
Showalter said Flaherty needs to play, needs to stay active. He was 3-for-19 before today.
Flaherty grounded to second base on the first pitch thrown by Buchholz today.
The Green Monster can present challenges for anyone in left field, let alone a rookie who normally plays the infield.
“I love somebody said, ‘Do you worry about him playing the ladder?’” Showalter said. “We had (Wilson) Betemit the first day, Endy (Chavez) yesterday and Flaherty today. There’s no way to work on playing the ball off the ladder. I’ve seen it hit the ladder and go straight up, I’ve seen it hit the ladder and go go straight down, I’ve seen it hit the ladder and go left, I’ve seen it hit the ladder and go right.
“What you do is, you go back there and see which way it goes off of and go get it. It doesn’t take a lot of work. Just don’t lose sight of it. It’s going somewhere it if hits the ladder.
“The biggest challenge playing the wall is deciding which ball to back off of.”
Also, Showalter said catcher Taylor Teagarden’s lower back is feeling better since he received a third epidural. For once, the reports have been somewhat favorable.
I wrote earlier today that outfielder Nola Reimold will have to go on an injury rehab assignment before being activated from the disabled list.
“I expected him to, without a doubt,” Showalter said. “I’d hope by the end of the DL period, he’d get some at-bats. It’s been a while.”
Update: Hardy homered again in the third inning to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead. It’s his eighth multi-homer game of his career and the first since Aug. 12, 2011.
Matt Wieters has the other multi-homer game for the Orioles this season, on April 16 vs. the White Sox.