But when Matt Joyce¿s solo homer off reliever Tommy Hunter sailed into the right field seats ¿ giving the Rays an 8-7 walk-off win over the Orioles ¿ it ended a bullpen outing very uncharacteristic of the 2012 Orioles.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter unveiled a pull shift on a pair of left-handed hitters in Tuesday's regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, placing third baseman Manny Machado in shallow right field.
By By Eduardo A. Encina and Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun
The Orioles chased David Price from the game in the seventh inning, then orchestrated a two-out, five-run rally against reliever Jake McGee for a 7-4 Opening Day win against the Rays, a team they outlasted to earn an American League wild-card berth last season.
Brian Roberts and Nolan Reimold were hoping the Orioles would afford them one more chance to prove they are healthy enough to contribute. In Tuesday's season-opening 7-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays, the duo combined to go 4-for-8; each had two singles.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will make his first career Opening Day start today against the Rays, becoming the fourth player in team history to start an Opening Day game at the age of 20 or younger.
The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. This week, we exchanged emails with Joe Polek, who blogs about the Orioles for Eutaw Street Report.
It will be pretty odd seeing Brian Roberts hitting from the nine hole, something that Roberts says will be the case "moving forward," instead of leading off like he has -- when healthy -- for most of his Orioles career.
"To Be Continued ..." the front of the shirts, provided by Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, say in orange lettering. It means that last year's sudden success wasn't a fluke, but instead just a beginning.
Brian Matusz will open the season pitching out of the Orioles' bullpen, where he flourished in the final five weeks of the season, but manager Buck Showalter said he still sees Matusz as an option to start.
The decision the Orioles face with Ryan Flaherty was already one of the most difficult ones of the of the spring before major league camp began, and as the team's days in Sarasota whittle away, the 26-year-old utilityman has done nothing to make the organization's choice any easier.
There's a lingering question as to whether Nate McLouth can regain his past form for an entire season. The Orioles think he can and that he can provide more quiet leadership. That's why they made re-signing McLouth a top priority this offseason.
The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. This week, I exchanged emails with Stacey Long, who blogs about the Orioles for the blog Camden Chat.