Ryan Flaherty opens exhibition season with a bang

Baltimore Orioles infielder Ryan Flaherty exercises during spring training practice at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Flaherty takes Markakis' advice to heart: Utility man Ryan Flaherty was talking with friend and former teammate Nick Markakis before Tuesday's game.

"He said, 'By the way, there's a left field out there,'" the left-handed-hitting Flaherty recounted, soon after hitting a single and a home run to left in his first two at-bats.


He also swung back at Markakis.

"I told him, 'I didn't drive two hours to watch you hit ground balls to the left side either,'" Flaherty said.


Flaherty has been swinging the bat well for the past several days. He was the only Orioles player to hit safely in each of the team's two intrasquad games, prompting him to jokingly name himself to the "Intrasquad All-Star" team.

He said Tuesday that in his situation, he has to come to camp ready to hit.

"I think every guy's in a different position," he said. "I think there are a lot of guys in camp who come in ready. There are guys who have time to get ready in camp and other guys who come to camp and have to be ready. So you try to do as much as you can in the offseason to get ready."