The Orioles welcomed their division rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays, to Camden Yards following their opening series sweep against the Minnesota Twins.
Baltimore was plagued with unseasonably cold weather, but that did not stop the O’s bats from heating up at all. Bad analogy aside, the Orioles scored 11 runs with five home runs in the rain shortened two game series.
Game One: Orioles: 6, Rays: 1
Chris Tillman was pegged at the starter for the opener of the series due to his Opening Day appearance being shortened to two innings because of a rain delay right before the 3rd inning.
Early on, Tillman seemed to struggle but settled down after allowing an Evan Longoria home run in the first inning. Tillman only went five innings but that was good enough to give him his first win of the season while allowing one run on four hits and striking out five and walking only two.
For the O’s offense, it was a very good preview of what it can look like on a warm day in Baltimore: all of the home runs.
Matt Wieters also contributed with two RBI of his own with two RBI singles happening in the 4th and 5th innings, respectively.
Game Two: Postponed due to rain
The second game of the series was postponed due to rain and below freezing temperatures in the Baltimore region. Mike Wright would have made his first start of the season against known Oriole killer Drew Smyly.
Wright’s first start of the season will happen during the upcoming Boston series on Tuesday.
Game Three: Orioles: 5, Rays: 3
Following the rain out on Saturday, Vance Worley was pegged to make his Orioles debut in the technical series finale against the Rays.
The offense for the Orioles started very early in the game with the O’s scoring four runs in the 2nd inning. Jonathan Schoop scored Pedro Alvarez on a double followed by a Joey Rickard sac fly scoring Schoop and a Manny Machado home run scoring him along with Hyun soo Kim making his Major League debut today for the O’s.
That would still not be enough to match the Orioles four runs along with an insurance run in the 8th inning with Manny Machado scoring on a wild pitch from Erasmo Ramirez.
My biggest takeaway from the day is Hyun soo Kim making his debut and going two for three and scoring once. Another big takeaway is Darren O’Day being able to get out of his own bases loaded jam, something he did several times last season.
Vance Worley pitched decently in his 4 2/3 innings of work with three runs allowed on seven hits and striking out five while walking only one. Brad Brach came in to relieve Worley in the 5th inning and pitched the 6th and allowed no runners. Mychal Givens also came in for an inning of work allowing one walk and striking out two. Darren O’Day followed in the 8th with his bases loaded jam that he was able to get out of on his own and the game was closed out by Zach Britton sitting down the Rays three in a row.
The Orioles remain the only undefeated team at 5-0 and this is the first time since 1970 that the Orioles have started out 5-0 and as every Orioles fan knows, they went on to beat the Reds in the World Series that year.
I’m not trying to say that automatically means the Orioles are on their way to the championship but baseball is a game of superstitions and sabermetrics and it is very clear which one is on the Orioles side more of the time.
The Orioles now go to Boston to face the Red Sox in their home opening series. The O’s will play there before continuing their road trip by going to Texas to face the Rangers.