The Orioles roster is currently so young, filled with so many rookies getting their first extended big league experience, that for players such as DJ Stewart and Cedric Mullins, this weekend marks their first trip to Yankee Stadium.

And after playing most of their recent home games in front of sparse crowds since the calendar turned to September, the young Orioles were thrust into a set of suddenly meaningful games in the Bronx.


The Yankees clinched a spot in the American League wild-card game with their 3-2, 11-inning win over the Orioles on Saturday, and still have home-field advantage to play for over their final eight games.

The Orioles’ overhauled roster hasn’t played in many important games, so this weekend’s series offered a different atmosphere for the team’s younger players.

Orioles suffer 110th loss as Yankees secure playoff berth with 3-2 win in 11 innings

Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks sent a Paul Fry pitch into the left-field corner to send the Orioles to a 3-2 walk-off loss Saturday.

It wasn’t a playoff atmosphere, but there was a certain buzz around the park that the Orioles haven’t experienced much in recent months.

“It’s a good experience for us,” Stewart said. “They’re trying to get in the playoffs and just to face a lineup like that and see how they’re fighting every single out and so are we. We’re not in the playoff hunt, but it gives us a little bit of experience of what the atmosphere is like. Everyone is against you. We’re at their place, and just kind of gives you a feel of what you can expect when we do get this thing turned around, how we can expect to play in these games.”

Stewart, 24, continued to play well. With a two-hit day, he’s 6-for-11 with four extra-base hits in his past four games. He homered in Friday’s series opener, and hit a leadoff double in the 10th on Saturday.

Mullins, 23, had cooled since his strong start, but is starting to regain his swing. He also had two hits Saturday, giving him multiple hits in consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 18-19. He’s hitting .378/.439/.514 over his past nine games.

And the new-look Orioles continued to be aggressive on the bases. Even though they were thrown out three times on the bases — including Steve Wilkerson twice at home plate — it didn’t hinder them from continuing to try to take extra bases.

Three pieces to the Orioles bullpen of the future pitched well Sunday. As he continues to be groomed for the closer role, reliever Mychal Givens retired all six batters he faced in the ninth and 10th innings, right-hander Miguel Castro tossed two scoreless innings, and left-hander Tanner Scott pitched a perfect inning in relief.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has had a difficult time looking at things optimistically, but after Saturday’s game, he seemed to pick out things more easily.

“A lot of positive things,” Showalter said. “Stewart had another good game. I thought Wilkerson played as good as you can at third base. He made some plays that kept them from scoring that we haven’t been making. I wanted to see him go back out there and have that type of defensive game. It tells you a little something about him. Pitched real well out of the bullpen.”