Ryan Flaherty

Ryan Flaherty is met at home plate after his three-run homer in the third inning against the Yankees. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun / June 29, 2013)

The Orioles will be faced with a roster crunch in the coming days with a trio of injured players -- second baseman Brian Roberts, left fielder Nolan Reimold and left-hander Wei-Yin Chen -- all slated to be activated off the disabled list.

And that decision is made even more difficult by the surging bat of Ryan Flaherty, who hit a three-run homer in the third inning tonight, giving the Orioles a 9-0 lead over the Yankees at the time.

Flaherty, who opened the season 0-for-17 and was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk in mid-May when he was hitting just .133, is suddenly swinging a hot bat.

His three-run homer off Yankees starter David Phelps extended his hitting streak to eight games. He is 13-for-27 in that span with four homers and nine RBIs. He’s raised his batting average from .161 on June 17 to .212 heading into his third at-bat tonight.

Tonight's homer, his sixth of the season, tied his career high set last year during his Rule 5 season.

With Roberts returning to man starting second-base duties, the Orioles might have to send Flaherty back to Norfolk, because he does have minor league options.

Despite his offensive struggles, Flaherty has played superb defense at second base filling in for Roberts. And he provides rare positional flexibility because he can play all four infield positions and both corner outfield spots.