After months of delays because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it finally happened Wednesday night: Baseball was played under the lights at Camden Yards.
The Orioles played a five-inning intrasquad game that ended in a 3-3 tie and didn’t include a full lineup on either side. The “home” team played with just one outfielder — Stevie Wilkerson in center field — and the “away” team was missing a rightfielder (Austin Hays played center field with DJ Stewart in left). The lineups looked liked this:
2B Hanser Alberto
3B Renato Nunez
C Chance Sisco
1B Dilson Herrera
CF Stevie Wilkerson
SS Andrew Velazquez
DH Bryan Holaday
SP Thomas Eshelman
CF Austin Hays
LF DJ Stewart
1B Chris Davis
C Pedro Severino
3B Rio Ruiz
2B Pat Valaika
SS Richie Martin
DH Austin Wynns
SP Tommy Milone
A few individual performances stood out. Tommy Milone started for the away team and was strong early, striking out four batters in his first two innings. He threw four innings, giving up three runs on six hits with five strikeouts.
Renato Nunez hit a long home run in the third inning that landed near the last row of seats on the lower level in left field. He followed it up with a hard line drive to right field in the fourth inning that was ruled an out by manager Brandon Hyde on a tough judgment call. If fielders were present, it could’ve gone for a double.
In the top of the fifth, Austin Hays matched Nunez with a homer of his own to the opposite field. The ball cleared the right-center field fence in a hurry, a low liner that barely cleared the wall.
Shortstop Andrew Velazquez made an impressive defensive play in the fourth inning, robbing Pat Valaika with a nifty backhand and strong throw to first.
Hunter Harvey tossed an inning with one strikeout. Even without radar guns present, his fastball velocity appeared to be in midseason form.
After five innings, Miguel Castro, David Hess and Cole Sulser were among the pitchers to throw short side sessions to a few batters each.
With ghost players, no fans and only five innings played, Wednesday night at Camden Yards didn’t look normal in a lot of ways. But it was still baseball, and another step toward Opening Day on July 24 in Boston.