BOSTON -- Largely lost in the shuffle of Friday's 6-4, 13-inning win over the Red Sox was the fantastic double play turned by Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy.
With the score tied at 4 and O's reliever Pedro Strop on for his second inning, Boston's Cody Ross smoked a ball toward center field on which Hardy made a lunging grab. Still on his knees, Hardy fired the ball back to first baseman Chris Davis to double up David Ortiz and clear the bases.
"For me, that's the game," Ross said of Hardy's play. "David goes first to third right there, and I don't know if it possibly could've been a double if it's in the gap. J.J. made a great play and got out of a jam right there. Tough loss."
For the Orioles, it was a win-win -- a game-changer that helped force extra innings and give the bats a chance to work.
"The play by J.J., you just shake your head," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You don't get [O's infielder] Brian Roberts to say 'Wow' much, but that was 'Wow.'"
Coming off a year in which he hit .269, with a career-high 30 homers and tying a career high with 80 RBIs, Hardy has struggled offensively to start the 2012 season, entering Saturday's game batting .194 with four homers and eight RBIs.
"He's a difference-maker," Showalter said. "J.J. is going to contribute in some form or factor [every day]. It might not even be on the field, it might be in the clubhouse. He's a winning player."
Reynolds hopes he's found spark at plate
BOSTON -- Mark Reynolds, who snapped his 76 at-bat homerless drought in Friday night's 6-4, 13-inning win over the Red Sox, was rounding the bases at Fenway Park when he noticed the Orioles' dugout was eerily quiet. In fact, his teammates had barely moved from the bench, playfully deciding to give Reynolds the snub after his third-inning homer off Jon Lester gave Reynolds his long-awaited first homer of the year.
The sentiment is a familiar one for the Orioles, who are both having fun and winning -- two unexpected byproducts of some solid starting pitching and a bullpen ERA that was tops in the Majors entering Saturday. Now the O's hope to get their offense going, or more specifically Reynolds, who has struggled mightily in the first month of the season and went without a home run in April for the first time in his career.
"I got the silent treatment from the dugout, which was expected," said Reynolds -- who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a walk and a homer -- of his reception, which prompted him to run into the tunnel and accidentally spurn manager Buck Showalter's outstretched hand. "But, it's good to kind of get that first one. Now I can just relax and play."
Reynolds did just that, clobbering reliever Clayton Mortensen's sixth pitch over the Green Monster for a three-run shot in his second at-bat Saturday afternoon, capping off a seven-run third inning in an 8-2 win over the Red Sox. Reynolds, who also doubled, went 2-for-4 and has four homers in his last three games at Fenway Park dating back to last season.
"Mark's starting to swing it like we know he can," Showalter said after the win. "That three-run homer really gave us some breathing room there."
On the heels of Friday night's news that the Orioles are close to bringing back Miguel Tejada, the veteran infielder will report to extended spring camp in Sarasota, Fla., for a physical Monday and will work out before the two sides officially agree on a deal. Showalter said the first step for Tejada is obviously to pass the physical and didn't comment much further, saying he pays more attention to the active team.
Down in extended spring camp, Zach Britton (left shoulder impingement) threw 47 pitches in a three-inning simulated game, and he remains on track to throw his first game in extended spring on Thursday. Catcher Taylor Teagarden (back) also reported "feeling better" the last two days.
Luis Exposito made his Major League debut as a defensive replacement at catcher in the 12th inning of Friday's game.
Boston scratched Will Middlebrooks, who was dealing with a tight hamstring, from Saturday's lineup.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.