NEW YORK - Stop me if you've heard this one: The Orioles are playing a day game, their fourth in a row since leaving Baltimore.
They hunger for a postgame spread that isn't lunch.
In this case, the 1:05 p.m. start has nothing to do with plummeting temperatures and the need to bask in whatever warmth is available in Detroit in the month of April. It's opening day at Yankee Stadium, with the first Bleacher Creature roll call of 2014.
I always feel a special bond with the city of New York because it's known as "The Big Apple," which also describes my shelf life with women. Take a bite and immediately watch it turn brown.
But I digress ...
J.J. Hardy has been scratched from the lineup in two of the last three games due to spasms in his lower back. Manager Buck Showalter didn't sound optimistic about Hardy's chances of playing this afternoon while interviewed on "O's Xtra" following yesterday's 3-1 win over the Tigers.
Hardy may attempt to take ground balls and, if the back doesn't seize up, step into the cage for batting practice. However, there's no need to rush him and Showalter is bound to take a more cautious approach just one week into the season.
Hardy is only 3-for-24 lifetime against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda, but that includes a double and home run.
Matt Wieters is 6-for-19 with two doubles against Kuroda. Nick Markakis is 7-for-19 with a double and home run. Adam Jones is 6-for-22 with a double. Chris Davis is 5-for-20 with a double, two home runs and seven strikeouts. Nelson Cruz is 1-for-14.
Kuroda is 2-3 with a 3.20 ERA in six starts against the Orioles, with 14 runs and 35 hits allowed in 39 1/3 innings. He's walked only two and struck out 23.
Ubaldo Jimenez is 1-3 with a 6.45 ERA in four starts against the Yankees, and 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two starts in the Bronx.
Brian McCann is 8-for-25 against Jimenez. Carlos Beltran is 4-for-11 with a double and two home runs.
Mark Teixeira is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. That's too bad for Jimenez, since Teixeira is 1-for-16 with seven strikeouts against him.