Here's the Orioles Opening Day lineup — and it has a defensive bent

NEW YORK — After weeks of filling out lineups in Sarasota, Fla., at spring training, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde’s first meaningful lineup for Opening Day has a very defensive bent to it.

Cedric Mullins starts in center field and reprises his leadoff role, followed by newcomer Dwight Smith Jr. in left field, Jonathan Villar at second base and Trey Mancini batting cleanup as the designated hitter.


At one point in spring training, Hyde said the only real dictating force in filling out a lineup would be that his best four hitters would be in the top four spots, making it notable that first baseman Chris Davis is batting seventh.

Before him, third baseman Rio Ruiz bats fifth, and right fielder Joey Rickard hits sixth.


Catcher Jesús Sucre bats eighth, and Rule 5 rookie Richie Martin bats ninth and plays shortstop behind starter Andrew Cashner.

The inclusion of the likes of Martin, Ruiz and Rickard shows what Hyde hopes will be a trend in favor of defense all season long.

“Like we've talked about in spring training a lot, we're going to try and throw our best defensive club out there in the field,” Hyde said. “I feel good about the team we had out there today. That's going to be a main priority. That's one thing we talked about in spring training, how much better we have to be defensively. You can't give up runs in this league. You can't give up extra outs, and that's something we put a high emphasis on in spring training, and it's going to be the same way during the season.”

Hyde’s chosen starting nine leaves Drew Jackson, Pedro Severino, Hanser Alberto and Renato Núñez on the bench to use against the vaunted Yankees bullpen that includes former Orioles closer Zack Britton.


Orioles lineup:

1. Cedric Mullins, CF

2. Dwight Smith Jr., LF

3. Jonathan Villar, 2B

4. Trey Mancini, DH

5. Rio Ruiz, 3B

6. Joey Rickard, RF

7. Chris Davis, 1B

8. Jesús Sucre, C

9. Richie Martin, SS

Behind starter Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees lineup is as follows:

1. Brett Gardner, CF

2. Aaron Judge, RF

3. Giancarlo Stanton, LF

4. Luke Voit, DH

5. Miguel Andujar, 3B

6. Gary Sanchez, C

7. Greg Bird, 1B

8. Gleyber Torres, 2B

9. Troy Tulowitzki, SS.

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