The challenge now is for Flaherty, who was recalled prior to Wednesday's game in place of infielder Yamaico Navarro, to translate that success to the Major Leagues.
"There was some stuff physically, but a lot of mental stuff," Flaherty said of the adjustments he made in Norfolk. "I feel like I'm in a position where I can help this team."
At the time of his demotion, Flaherty was hitting .133/.228/.233 through 30 games, and manager Buck Showalter wanted to let the 26-year-old get his feet back under him in a less pressurized environment. Flaherty played eight games for Norfolk, batting .265 with two homers and five RBIs, delivering four multihit efforts with the Tides.
"Ryan hit a home run yesterday to left-center field," said Showalter, who went off the recommendation of Triple-A manager Ron Johnson in evaluating whether Flaherty was ready. "We know the stuff's a little better here [in the Majors], obviously. He's handled the breaking ball a little better, we'll see how it plays.
"The good thing about him, you know, he's defending, and that's something that's big for us like it is everybody."
The organization favors Flaherty's glove over Navarro's, which was another factor in the decision. Navarro hit .286/.333/.357 in eight games for the Orioles, but he struggled to make some plays in the field. Showalter has placed a premium on defense.
Still, Flaherty will have to produce with the bat to stay with the big league club, with Showalter reminding reporters Wednesday that "Ryan knows it's not an open-ended ticket."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.