Every time Orioles manager Buck Showalter peeled back a layer of the Orioles' unorthodox 5-4-6 double play from Wednesday's game, he finds something else to be impressed with.
On the first-inning twin-killing in question, third baseman Manny Machado tried to tag Boston center fielder Mookie Betts out on his way to third base, but Betts, who had been running in what would have been the throwing lane to second base, fell to avoid the tag. Machado instead threw to second baseman Jonathan Schoop to get the out there.
As that was all happening, shortstop J.J. Hardy ran to cover third base. Schoop threw back to third, and Hardy applied the tag to end the inning.
"It was pretty good improv," Showalter said. "Somebody said, 'Are we going to put that on the spring training fundamentals tape?' I said, 'I don't know if that will ever come up again.' I've never seen that before, and I'll never see it again. Every night, something happens."
Most impressive to him was Hardy knowing to cover third base.
"I looked at the film of J.J. covering third," Showalter said. "I can't tell you how — it's the little things. What would possess you to go to third? I don't know if I would have."
And that's not to sell Schoop short, either.
"He knew J.J. was going to be there," Showalter said. "That's the other part of the equation. How do you know your teammate is going to be there? I love the fact that we're bringing notice to that play."
The Orioles have induced seven ground-ball double plays this year entering Thursday's game, tied for 8th in the majors.
Orioles right-hander Vance Worley, who makes his second start of the season Friday, said a player in his position can only treat these starts one way: as if he might not get another one.
"I think I'm going to treat it kind of like spring training, where each outing is going to possibly be my last," Worley said. "Just try to go out there and throw as many zeros up as I can, and get deep in the game and try to prove that I'm a starter. And if it doesn't work out that way, hopefully they'll throw me out in the 'pen."
Worley, who came into the fifth starter's spot due to an injury to Kevin Gausman, is out of minor league options, meaning his time with the Orioles may end if they try to pass him through waivers and send him to the minors. He pitched as a starter and reliever in 2015 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but has traditionally worked as a starter.
In his last start, Worley went 4 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts.
Both right-hander Gausman (right shoulder tendinitis) and reliever Brian Matusz (left intercostal strain) will make rehab appearances at High-A Frederick on Friday night. … Mark Trumbo made his first start of the season at designated hitter Thursday, with Nolan Reimold in right field and Joey Rickard back in left field. … Showalter praised the work of reliever Tyler Wilson in saving the bullpen Wednesday with the team preparing for a four-game series in Texas.