7:01 PM EDT, April 2, 2013
Eduardo A. Encina, reporter: The Orioles set the tone early with patient at-bats – making reigning Cy Young Award winner David Price uncomfortable on the mound – before relying on those big middle-of-the-order bats. The biggest at-bat of the game was Matt Wieters’ 13-pitch walk against Price in the third inning. The Orioles didn’t benefit from it on the scoreboard, but it put a chink in Price’s armor and forced the Rays into their bullpen earlier than they wanted. After opening the game 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, the Orioles rallied in the later innings from behind. Sound familiar?
Dan Connolly, reporter: The Orioles didn’t advance further in the playoffs last year because they couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position and were unable to score when they didn’t smash multiple longballs. After Tuesday’s 2013 opener, it’s clear the Orioles still may struggle at times in those situations. But they had two key homers Tuesday, a two-run shot by Matt Wieters in the first and a three-run homer by Chris Davis in the seventh, to claim victory. In between Wieters’ homer and Adam Jones’ two-run, seventh-inning double, the Orioles were 0-8 with runners in scoring position. So there is major room for improvement there, but a win is a win. Especially against a good division rival who has the AL’s reigning Cy Young winner.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: They sure looked like your 2012 Orioles, which should come as a big relief to all those fans who were wondering if they were ready to deliver a suitable encore to last year's uplifting playoff season. Jason Hammel went inning for inning with 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price and came out clean. Adam Jones delivered the clutch double that brought the O's from behind. Matt Wieters and Chris Davis hit towering home runs, and comeback players Nolan Reimold and Brian Roberts combined for four hits. What more could you possibly ask?
David Selig, Orioles editor: The Orioles’ schedule for the first month isn’t very forgiving, so for them to get off to a good start on Opening Day is a good sign. If anyone was worried about them feeling pressure to live up to the expectations set in 2012, it sure doesn’t look like that’s going to be a problem. With clutch hitting, a quality start and three solid bullpen innings, this win looked an awful lot like so many the team pulled out last year.
Matt Vensel, blogger/reporter: The Orioles' big bats delivered in this one, with Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Chris Davis combining to drive in all seven runs and score five of them themselves. It was a solid outing, too, for Jason Hammel, who finally got a win at Tropicana Field. It is going to be a long haul until October, but the Orioles got off to a fine start.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun