The Baltimore Orioles’ incredible turnaround playoff season last year gave fans hope and new expectations for this season, which is also the Orioles 60th season. After everything that had happened last year, this offseason and this spring everything is up for grabs now in the AL East. In the O’s opening day game with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field they played to everyone’s expectations winning by a score of 7-4. It was sort of a big accomplishment because the Rays are usually unstoppable at Tropicana Field or “The Trop” as some call it, the Rays are 251-154 since 2008 there, they are second for a team winning at home behind the Yankees.
O’s starting pitcher Jason Hammel pitched well despite losing the lead back in the sixth giving up an RBI double and a sac fly. His team would regain the lead in seventh to help him earn the win, he pitched six innings giving up only three hits and three runs. The Tampa Bay Rays are the team who originally drafted and developed Hammel. Orioles closer and all-time save leader Jim Johnson earned his first save of the 2013 season in this game as well.
There were many stars in the Baltimore batting lineup during this game, one being All-Star, Gold Glove catcher Matt Wieters who started off his 2013 season with a two-run home run off reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price who would leave the game with a no decision. Wieters going into this game has had much success facing left-handers batting .323, he finished the day 2 for 3 with a double, a home run and two RBI’s. A couple more stars were All-Star center fielder Adam Jones who went 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBI’s and first basemen Chris Davis who hit a three run home run off Tampa Bay reliever Jake McGee, who would ended up earning the loss, back in the seventh. Orioles left fielder Nolan Reimold also had a mulit-hit game after not playing since April 30th of last season.
A couple of individual milestones were made by the O’s in this opening day game. Second basemen Brian Roberts, who batted ninth instead of leadoff as he used to, started his 9th opening day for the O’s which is the most on the active roster. Much publicized third basemen Manny Machado, who believe it or not batted second in the lineup, became the 4th Oriole to start an opening day game at age 20 or younger. He joins Oriole alumnists Brooks Robinson, Wally Bunker and Boog Powell.
The next game of this series is tomorrow Wednesday at 7:10 ET. The probable pitchers for this game will be Wei-Yin Chen (BAL) vs. Jermey Hellickson (TB).
About the Author
Written by Brendan Keelan
Former High School and College athlete (football, Wesley College)