BOSTON -- Ryan Flaherty, who had a career-high four hits in the Orioles' 10-6 win Wednesday, doesn't have a specific reason for why he hits so well at Fenway Park. But the Maine native admits that it is somewhat special playing in front of familiar faces.
"Four hits is four hits, take them anywhere, especially this time of year," Flaherty said. "But my family and friends really don't get a chance to see me play. So, sure, it means a little more."
A career .220 hitter in parts of three major league seasons, Flaherty is hitting .367 (18-for-49) in 14 games (12 starts) in Boston. He has seven RBIs in those games at Fenway Park, including two Wednesday on an RBI single and an RBI double.
"I pay attention to ballparks. He's always hit well here," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's comfortable up here. It's kind of his home area. I always feel great that he's performing well in front of a lot of free-ticketed people, and it's good for him."
Flaherty, who has been filling in at shortstop for J.J. Hardy, has hit in four straight games, including all three in Boston. That comes on the heels of a costly error in the ninth inning Sunday at Tampa Bay.
"He was really beating himself up there in Tampa a little bit," Showalter said. "Ryan puts so much work into it. He had a big day for us. We needed it."
Flaherty may have needed it, too. He said it just feels good to help the team in its pennant push.
"You never want to make an error in a situation late in the game like that," Flaherty said about the play in Tampa Bay. "Put it behind you and keep going forward is all you can do."
Minor league coach Werner returns to field
After Wednesday's victory, Showalter said he was most pleased by news he received away from Fenway Park.
Don Werner, the Orioles' minor league catching instructor, returned to the field and coached Wednesday as part of the organization's instructional league in Sarasota, Fla. Werner has been battling cancer since the spring and has been away from his job while receiving treatment, which appears to be working.
"Don Werner went on the field today coaching instructional league. That's pretty cool," Showalter said. "That's the highlight of the day."
Tuesday's starter won't be minor leaguer
Showalter said he's pretty sure who will start Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards, but he first wants to get through Friday's doubleheader and Saturday's day game against the New York Yankees before officially settling on a candidate.
On Wednesday, Showalter said he has narrowed his focus to players currently with the team. The most logical possibility is left-hander T.J. McFarland, but left-hander Joe Saunders and right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez also could be in play.
It won't be minor leaguers Mike Wright or Tyler Wilson, who are in Sarasota, Fla., staying baseball-ready in case they're needed in an emergency.
"It will come from here," Showalter said.
Around the horn
Showalter talked to Hardy on Tuesday and is still hopeful that the shortstop will be able to play at some point in Friday's doubleheader. Hardy received a cortisone shot in his ailing lower back Tuesday in Baltimore. … Caleb Joseph's nine home runs are the third-most by an Orioles rookie catcher, and the most since Geronimo Gil hit 12 as a catcher in 2002. … Alejandro De Aza has hit safely in all six of his games with the Orioles. … The Orioles have won 10 of their last 13 series finales, and are 29-19 in those games this season.