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Early game time creates parking problems

Danyette Hawkins had to employ her best diplomatic skills as she stood in front of the Grand parking garage on Paca Street holding a bright-colored flag before the game.

Every few minutes, a driver would pull up to enter the garage. Hawkins would have to explain that the garage — popular among fans when the team plays at night — was still filled with daytime business parkers.

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Then she would wave her flag and the car would move on.

Some of the fans appeared frustrated.

"This is my lucky parking garage — 10 years I've been parking here," said Larry Bruno, 31, who grew up in Maryland but lives now in Fredericksburg, Va.

Some fans turned into a garage near Lexington Market, only to be told that the lot closed at 8 p.m. That would mean missing the end of the game.

A few curse words were heard as one driver backed out of the lot.

If fans are confused about postseason logistics, that's because the Orioles aren't regular playoff participants, said Eric Walker of Bel Air, who brought his family to the game.

The Orioles missed the postseason 14 straight years before 2012.

Walker said he didn't think New York Yankees fans would have trouble figuring out where to park. The Yankees made the playoffs every year from 1995 through 2007, and from 2009 through 2011.

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