Baltimore Orioles

Even with the Yankees in town, Orioles game has plenty of empty seats

Though it's difficult to quantify many of the variables that have contributed to a significant drop in the Orioles' home attendance this season, it's fairly easy to measure the possible impact of one factor – the unrest in Baltimore last year.

In the 90 home games from the start of the 2014 season to the "no-fan" game on April 29, 2015, the Orioles drew an average crowd of 30,712. In the 136 home dates since the fanless game – including the crowd of 24,226 in the Orioles' 8-0 victory – the Orioles have drawn an average of 27,869, or about 3,000 fewer per game.


But here's where it becomes difficult to forge a direct link to that unfortunate time in Baltimore history. The average attendance for the last 68 home dates in 2015 was 29,141. The average for the first 68 home dates of 2016 is just 26,597. It would seem logical that the impact of the unrest on the number of both local fans and tourists would diminish over time rather than increase.

So, it's still something of a mystery why the Orioles rank 20th in the major leagues in home attendance.


Silence is golden: There did not appear to be a large number of Yankees fans in the stands Friday night, which could mean one of two things: Either the Orioles pounded the Yankees so thoroughly that the usually vocal New Yorkers had nothing to shout about or the out-of-town presence was diminished because summer vacation is over and the kids are back in school.

No, wait. It can't be the latter because New York public schools don't open until several days after Labor Day.

Adam's back: Adam Jones was in the leadoff spot after missing five-plus games with a hamstring strain and he immediately made his presence known to Yankees right-hander Chad Green. He led off the Orioles' half of the first with a slicing line drive single to center and drove in a run with another single to center in the second inning. More importantly, he looked comfortable on the bases and in center field.

Momentum-killer: The Orioles were coming off a game Wednesday in which the Toronto Blue Jays scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back, so they certainly didn't want to give the Yankees an opportunity to set the same tone on Friday night. Brett Gardner had other ideas when he led off the game with a sharp single to center field, but Matt Wieters made a perfect throw to pick him off first base moments later. This time, it was the Orioles who never looked back.

Yankees pitching woe: Green came up sore after just 1 2/3 innings. He was removed from the game after giving up the first four Orioles runs with what was described by the team as pain in his pitching elbow. He was examined during the game and is expected to undergo further tests.

Home run record update: The Orioles hit four home runs Friday night, raising their season total to 213 in 134 games. That number projects to 258 homers over the full 162-game schedule, which would fall six short of the all-time single-season record set by the Seattle Mariners in 1997.