BALTIMORE—It’s early in the season, and the Orioles are playing their seventh game against an American League East team on Monday night when the Boston Red Sox visit for the first of three games.
The Orioles will play 52 games against American League East teams this season, 13 against each of their four opponents — Boston, New York, Tampa Bay and Toronto. Last year, they played 76 games—19 against each.
In 2022, the Orioles allowed an average of five runs per game against AL East teams and 3.8 against every other team they played.
In the six games they’ve played against the Red Sox and the Yankees, they’ve give up 42 runs — an average of seven per game — and 3.87 runs against everyone else.
“It’s a weird schedule, us against these guys,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Twice super early, and then we don’t play them again until September again, so that’s strange.”
The Orioles played their first three games at Fenway Park, and return there from September 8th-10th. They’ll play Boston in the final four games of the season, from September 28th-October 1st, at Camden Yards.
“Playing in your division has always been in order, but we’re all playing for the same thing,” Hyde said. “There’s wild-card spots available if you don’t win your division. You’re just trying to win as many games as possible. Division games are always a little bit more important, whether it’s 13, 14 or 19.
“It’s still quite a few games. These games matter, but you have to beat other teams, also. It’s the same as before. We just play other non-division teams more. “
The Orioles lost two of three to the Red Sox, winning the opener, 10-9, losing 9-8 when Ryan McKenna dropped a fly ball that would’ve been the final out, and 9-5.
“That was such an unusual series,” Hyde said. “I don’t want to make excuses, but we didn’t play our best defense. I think there were a lot of reasons behind that. We didn’t pitch very well, either. [Kyle Gibson] threw the ball well. We didn’t play our best series, [but] we swung the bats extremely well,
“It was tough conditions, and Fenway’s not an easy place to open up at, either, especially coming from 85 degrees [in Florida] to 30. We just didn’t play our best baseball … This last week we’ve been playing way better defensively.
“That’s got to be something we have to do all year long because we’re not going to strike everybody out and we’ve got to be able to catch the ball defensively and make routine plays. I think that series alone showed we need to be a better defensive club. We were last year. We need to be a better defensive club to help our pitchers out and win games. I feel like we’ve done that this past week.”
Minor league update: Hyde said he wasn’t surprised that Jackson Holliday was promoted from Single-A Delmarva to High-A Aberdeen.
“Sounds like he got off to a great start in Low-A, and we’re happy he’s being promoted,” Hyde said. “He was really impressive in major league spring training and showed extremely well. He’s going to be a really good player. He’s still 19. It was fun to watch him, fun to be around him this spring. He’s a very talented kid.”
Holliday was named the Carolina League Player of the Week, with a .450 average.
Outfielder Colton Cowser was named the International League Player of the Week. Cowser, who was the Orioles’ top draft choice in 2021, hit .391 (9-for-23) with 10 runs, a double, three home runs and six RBIs.
Extended spring training games at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota began on Monday. The Orioles will play home games on Friday, May 1st, 4th, 9th, 12th, 16th,18th, 22nd, 26th, 29th, June 1st and 3rd.
The Orioles’ prospects will face prospects of Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. Each game will begin at noon except for June 3rd, which will begin at 10.
Admission is free, and fans can park in the East Lot. Concession stands will be closed, and fans can sit in sections 116-125 and 216-225.