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According to the tentative 2011 Major League Baseball schedule, the Orioles will play their season opener for a second straight year against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The game will be played Friday, April 1.

After a three-game series against the Rays, the Orioles will return to Baltimore and play their home opener on the afternoon of April 4 against the Detroit Tigers.

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The schedules are always tentative at this time of the year, but I don't see those two things changing. It's a little disappointing to me that the Orioles are again opening up at Tampa Bay. It will be the third time in the past four years and the fourth time in the past six that the Rays will be the Orioles' Opening Day opponent. There's something to be said for trying something new.

I'm also surprised that they're starting on the road for a second straight year, although it is certainly convenient with the Orioles' spring training site in Sarasota being about a 45-minute drive to the Trop. I was led to believe that the Orioles will open up at home every other year, but again, apparently that's not so anymore.

I think the Orioles are due to play the National League Central in interleague play this season, but I'll wait till the final schedule unveils their specific opponents.

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