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The last time the Orioles played in front of a home crowd was April 26th. The last time they played at Camden Yards was April 29th before having to move their home series against the Rays to Tampa because of the unrest in Baltimore. Even though it has only been 2 weeks, it seem like forever since the Orioles has played at home in Camden Yards. I decided to attend “Re-Opening Day” and I can say that seeing the O's take the field gave me a sense of normalcy, which I think this entire city needed.
Ironically, the Orioles home opener this season was against the Blue Jays, Toronto winning 12-5, but tonight in “Re-Opening Day” the O's defeated the Blue Jays 5-2 for their 14th win of the season. Orioles currently sit 4th place in the AL East, 5.5 games behind the 1st place Yankees.
O's got off to a fast start thanks to Ubaldo Jimenez 1-2-3 inning, striking out the Blue Jays first three batters on 17 pitches. Jimenez was awarded the win and MVP honors for his performance, striking out 9 batters, and only allowing 2 earned runs in 7 innings of work. This was probably one of Ubaldo's best games as an Oriole, along with his performance in the “No Fans Game”. So far this season, Ubaldo 3-0 at Camden Yards with a sub-2.50 ERA, and 23 strikeouts in 21 innings. He hasn't lost at Camden Yards since June 13th 2014 against the Blue Jays.
The momentum continued into the bottom of the first, Orioles scoring 3 runs off of 2 long-balls. Manny Machado hit a leadoff home run (6th) to the bleachers and Chris Davis hit a 2-run bomb (8th) to the exact same area Manny hit his.
The Blue Jays would get on the board in the 6th and 7th inning, Ezequiel Carrera knocking in both RBIs off his 2 doubles. Baltimore enemy #1 Jose Bautista wasn't in the lineup tonight but he did pinch hit in the 9th inning but grounded out to end the game, Zach Britton claiming his 7 save of the season.
This was a necessary win for the O's, who are still sitting under .500 ball, not only because of their slow start but to give the fans of Baltimore some much needed positivity. Last time I attended an O's game, I sat in the press box but today I bought a ticket and it felt good to sit and watch the ballgame as a fan and native of Baltimore. Joining in on chants, cheering during full counts, just being an Orioles fan, something you can't really do sitting in the press box. It is a great luxury being in there and an honor that I will never take for granted if given another opportunity but it's nothing like sitting in the bleachers or standing above the bullpens.