TORONTO -- The Orioles return home Thursday for what could be regarded as the most important homestand in 15 years. They open a pivotal four-game series against the New York Yankees on Thursday, then host the Tampa Bay Rays, who are just behind them in the AL East standings, Tuesday through Thursday.
Thursday and Saturday's games against the Yankees are both sold out, with limited standing-room only tickets available on game day at the box office, a team spokesperson said. Crowds in the 30,000s are expected for Friday's and Sunday's games.
The Orioles drew fewer than 14,000 fans in each of their four home games last week against the White Sox, who lead the AL Central.
"They've been extremely supportive this year and since I've gotten here," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the fans. "They've been very passionate and energetic. They've made our path a little easier. Going back home, since I've been here, has always been a good thing. That's their decision. I know from interaction that everybody is upbeat. … There are a lot of different ways to support the team."
The Orioles also announced a promotion Tuesday in which Eutaw Street bleacher seats and left-field lower box seats for the Rays series will be reduced to "throwback" 1992 prices of $4 and $8, respectively. Less than 24 hours after that announcement, the $4 seats have been sold out for all three games. The $8 seats are still available.
"My expectations? I don't know to be honest with you," center fielder Adam Jones said. "You can tell by social media and whatever that the Orioles are lowering prices. Cool. We'll be there.
"I've never experienced postseason excitement," Jones added. "I've never been this close. I hope to be surprised."