BOSTON — When Ryan Flaherty of Portland singled off Clay Buchholz in the fourth inning, it was a big moment for the kid from Deering High.

At that time, it looked like a case of adding on as his Baltimore Orioles team led 5-0.

But then another player, also familiar to Portland, made it interesting.

With Boston down 5-1 in the fifth inning, Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks — who had a breakout season last year at Hadlock Field — swatted a grand slam to tie it.

Of course, all that was early in the game, which ended up lasting 6 hours and 17 innings.

Eventually, the Orioles won 9-6, so Flaherty could talk joyfully about playing his first major league baseball game at Fenway Park, while a more-subdued Middlebrooks spoke of his first homer in the majors, a tying slam over the Green Monster.

“It was probably the biggest rush of my life, to be honest,” Middlebrooks said.

Flaherty, like Middlebrooks, is in his first year in the majors. But Flaherty will stay with the big club all season. Sunday was his 10th game and seventh start.

Orioles Manager Buck Showalter quipped to the Baltimore media, “you can’t come to Boston for three days and not play a guy named Flaherty.”

Flaherty arrived at Fenway Sunday and saw his name atop the lineup and playing left field.

“You always dream of playing in front of the Green Monster,” he said.

Flaherty, 25, has already played second base, third base, first base and right field this season. He played left field for the first time Sunday. Before the game, Flaherty was fielding fly balls in front of — and off — the wall.

“People can play out there for five years and not learn how to play it. I tried to do it in a day,” he said with a laugh. “It can be tough. You don’t know if it’s going to hit the wall.”

After Middlebrooks’ slam, the Red Sox put two runners on in the fifth. Dustin Pedroia hit a long fly to left, which Flaherty jumped for and caught on the warning track.

At the plate, Flaherty went 1 for 5.

“Just trying to have some good at-bats. (Buchholz) left a curveball up and I was able to get a base hit to right,” Flaherty said. “Really cool.”

He grounded out three times and struck out on an Alfredo Aceves 97 mph fastball in the ninth.

With Boston left-hander Franklin Morales pitching in the 11th, Flaherty was lifted for right-handed pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino, who grounded out on a slow bouncer to Middlebrooks.

Middlebrooks, 23, played a solid third base most of the day, save for a harmless throwing error in the 14th. It has been quite a weekend for Middlebrooks. He doubled on Friday and Saturday and, with his blast Sunday he became the first Red Sox player to record extra-base hits in his first three games.

“It’s been awesome” he said. “I’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”

The Middlebrooks family had two home runs to celebrate Sunday. Will’s sister, Lacey Middlebrooks, not only pitched a one-hit shutout for her University of Tulsa softball team, she hit the winning three-run homer in a 3-0 win over Alabama-Birmingham.

“Did she?” Will said when informed of his sister’s feat. “I’ll have to give her a call.”

I can’t tell you much about the career of Lacey, a junior, but her older brother is going to be hard to yank out of the lineup if he keeps this up. Middlebrooks packed up his gear after the game, leaving for the team’s flight to Kansas City.

After the game, Flaherty said goodbye to his parents, Ed and Deborah, and other family and friends. He then joined his team for the flight to Baltimore.

The Orioles celebrated a sweep of Boston, while Flaherty can also savor his first major league hit (of many?) at Fenway Park.

“A fun weekend. Something I dreamed of my whole life, coming back here and playing,” he said. “Glad it worked out well.”

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases