Markakis, Guerrero and Jones homer in first

SARASOTA, Fla. - I almost forgot that a game was being played today.

Brian Roberts singled off Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine in his first spring at-bat, and Nick Markakis followed with a home run to right field on a 1-1 pitch.


One out later, Vladimir Guerrero crushed the first pitch thrown to him. The ball cleared the left-center field fence in about three seconds.

Orioles 3, Rays 0.

Update: Adam Jones just cleared the seats in the party deck beyond the left field fence. That’s three home runs in the first inning, and a 4-0 lead.

It figures that a ballpark opening would include fireworks.

Jeremy Guthrie retired the side in order in the top of the first, throwing 12 of his 16 pitches for strikes. His fastball topped out at 91 mph.

The game started after a nice opening ceremony that included MASN’s Gary Thorne as the emcee. The construction workers responsible for renovating Ed Smith Stadium, and picking up the pace to get the facility ready for today’s home opener, received a warm round of applause as they stood in a line that wrapped around the infield.

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. City and county officials and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce also were on hand.

I thought the giant scissors were being used to cut Guerrero’s goatee. I was wrong.

A moment of silence was held for longtime umpires attendant Ernie Tyler, who passed away on Feb. 10 at the age of 86.

We were reminded that it’s 41 degrees in Baltimore and 71 here. I guess we can live with a little rain.

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