Leftovers for breakfast

Two games into the 2024 season won’t allow for an Orioles lineup pattern to develop. Much too soon for that.

What we did learn yesterday is that Jordan Westburg is projected to play a lot more barring a horrendous slump that would send him to the bench or the minors.

Westburg went from designated hitter on Opening Day against left-hander Patrick Sandoval to second baseman yesterday against right-hander Griffin Canning. The infield is deep and versatile, but Westburg will find his at-bats.

An 11-3 win in the opener included Westburg’s run-scoring single in the first inning that broke a 1-1 tie. He had a two-run single yesterday in the sixth, grounding a 95.7 mph fastball up the middle after seeing three sliders, a splitter and another slider.

“We’re going to give him a lot of starts here and I want to see him play,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

Westburg worked the count full in his first at-bat Thursday and punched a changeup into center field. The pitch almost crossed him up but he made a lightening-quick adjustment.

“I thought he made big strides last year into the offseason,” Hyde said. “He stayed back on that, Sandoval threw a good changeup, and he was able to just get enough of it to get it over the infielder’s head.”

Jorge Mateo started at second base on Opening Day, and the Angels are sending left-hander Reid Detmers to the mound this afternoon. Westburg could return to the designated hitter role or go back-to-back as Gunnar Henderson’s double play partner.

Henderson also could be paired with Ramón Urías and Tony Kemp this season, and Jackson Holliday is going to make major noise when he crashes that party.

Hyde doesn’t think Henderson will be challenged by the changes at second.

“Not with him. I don’t think so, not with him,” Hyde said.

“I think veterans can kind of get used to maybe a certain style of the partner they’re playing with. I think it becomes easier, just from a middle infield standpoint, just kind of know where he is all the time, what the feed’s going to look like, what kind of feed you’re going to get on double play turns. Those types of things. That takes time, though. And our guys haven’t played enough together to really have that.

“Our outfield has. Our outfielders know where each other is all the time and I think that’s helpful. But I think we’re going to grow into that. But our guys are so athletic and trust each other so much that anybody out there’s going to work well together.”

* In case you missed yesterday’s postgame updates, here are some fun facts on the club’s hot start.

The Orioles are 2-0 for the first time since 2021, and this isn’t presented as another opportunity for fans to rip on Ryan McKenna for the dropped fly ball last year at Fenway Park.

The 27 strikeouts by Orioles pitchers are the most in franchise history through the first two games, and the 24 runs scored are second-most behind the 25 in 2006.

That team finished 70-92 under Sam Perlozzo, who had replaced Lee Mazzilli in the summer of 2005.

The Orioles beat the Devil Rays 9-6 and 16-6 and were shut out 2-0 in the series finale, then lost 14-8, 2-1 and 4-1 to the Red Sox. The 2024 team is expected to be much better.

“I feel like we’re just scratching the surface,” said Gunnar Henderson.

“I think how last year ended left a lot of a sour taste in our mouths, so I think we’re kind of champing at the bit this year,” said Grayson Rodriguez. “We’ve got something to prove, so I think everybody feels the same way and we’re going to go out there and attack the hitter, pitcher, whatever it might be that night. They’re going to go out there and they’ve got something to prove.”

Rodriguez and Corbin Burnes have combined to allowed two runs and five hits and strike out 20 batters in 12 innings.

“That’s how you draw it up,” Henderson said. “You want them to come out there and shove the first games of the season, and they’ve come out there and exceed that. It’s really awesome being able to play behind them, and it makes our lives easier.”

The Orioles hadn’t scored nine runs in an inning without recording an out since at least 1957. Guess the research doesn’t go back any further.

That was the most runs they tallied in an inning since also scoring nine in the bottom of the eighth on Sept. 8, 2021 against the Royals.

Adley Rutschman’s five runs scored in the first two games are a club record.

Anthony Santander has homered in both games, and his seven RBIs through the first two ties the club record set by Chris Davis in 2013.

Davis finished the year batting .286/.370/.634 with 42 doubles, 53 home runs and 138 RBIs in 160 games. He finished third in Most Valuable Player voting in the American League.

The ball’s in your court, Tony.

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