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Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, left, reaches for the ball in front of Trey Mancini after failing to catch a pop-up by the Red Sox's Jackie Bradley Jr., leading to a triple play during the eighth inning Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Boston.
Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, left, reaches for the ball in front of Trey Mancini after failing to catch a pop-up by the Red Sox's Jackie Bradley Jr., leading to a triple play during the eighth inning Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Boston. (Michael Dwyer / AP)

The Orioles have had a little trouble fielding shallow fly balls at Fenway Park this year, but the one that occurred late in Tuesday night's loss to the Boston Red Sox ended up working out in their favor.

With no outs and runners on first and second in the eighth inning Tuesday, returning reliever Zach Britton coaxed a rare fly ball into shallow left field that just eluded shortstop J.J. Hardy. But neither Mitch Moreland, who was on second base, nor Dustin Pedroia, who was on first base, ran on the play.

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Hardy picked up the ball and threw to second base, where second baseman Jonathan Schoop tagged Moreland, who was just off the bag for the first out. Then, he stepped on second base for a force on Pedroia, and threw to first baseman Chris Davis, who tapped first base.

Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who hit the pop-up, did not run the play out. It was officially scored 6-4-3, with Schoop recording two of the outs.

"Jonathan, really heads up on it," manager Buck Showalter said. "And we know that Zach throws a lot of ground-ball double plays, so he just got another one. He got an extra out there.

"Really, heads-up play being aware of what's going on. A lot of people, when something not particularly good happens, they just put their heads in the sand. Our guys look for ways. ... A lot of guys would throw that ball directly to third. J.J. was very aware of what was going on, and so was Jon. I think they could have gotten him both ways; I'm not sure, abandoning the base paths. I just wanted to make sure they didn't call the infield fly."

The Orioles hadn't turned a triple play since Sept. 1, 2000, at the Cleveland Indians. This was the first triple play turned against Boston since Aug. 1, 2001, against the Texas Rangers.

Showalter said it wasn't the craziest triple play he has seen, but it was close.

"As a matter of fact, I managed in extended spring," Showalter said. "I've seen one crazier than that. I had one where it never hit leather, triple play where a guy passed a guy and hit the other guy in the helmet. One was an infield fly, so it never hit leather. If you've been in extended spring for a couple of years like I have, you've seen it all."

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