The Orioles, now 2-0 on Opening Days in the 2023 season and 3-0 in series-opening games, will host the New York Yankees tonight. It’s the first night game of the year in Baltimore and the second game of a three-game series.
The Orioles improved to 46-24 all-time in home openers and 22-10 in Oriole Park openers with Friday’s 7-6 win in front of a sellout crowd of 45,017. Six different Orioles drove in runs as they had 10 hits. Through seven games the team is batting .259/.350/.469/.819, and they’ve hit 17 doubles and 11 home runs and scored 41 runs. The Orioles have scored five or more in five of their seven games and scored seven runs or more four times.
Shortstop Jorge Mateo, being rested tonight with a sore ankle, tallied his team-high third multi-hit performance of the season on Friday, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a run scored. In 2022, he didn’t record his first multi-hit game until the team’s ninth game and didn’t register his third multi-hit performance until his 25th game of the season.
Ramón Urías picked up his second multi-hit game (he also had multiple hits on March 30 at Boston). He produced his fifth career game with two doubles, and his first since July 16, 2022 at Tampa Bay.
First sacker Ryan Mountcastle swiped his first bag of the season in the seventh inning. That marked his first stolen base since July 8, 2022 against the Los Angeles Angels. Mountcastle, who is batting .276/.333/.586/.920, has hit safely in six of the first seven games to start the new year.
Outfielder Anthony Santander snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a double in the third inning off right-hander Clarke Schmidt. Santander is 6-for-30 for the year, batting .200. He went 4-for-11 the first two games at Boston, but is 2-for-19 the past five games.
The Orioles had two more stolen bases Friday, and they lead the majors in team stolen bases.
13 – Orioles
11 – New York Yankees, Cleveland
10 – Arizona
The Orioles are 13-1 on steal attempts for a steal percentage of .929.
The Yankees began the home opener third in the AL with a team ERA of 2.33. They have given up seven runs total in each of their opening three-game series against San Francisco and Philadelphia. Then the O’s scored seven runs in one game off their staff. New York had allowed 14 runs its first six games.
On the mound tonight for the O’s is lefty Cole Irvin (0-1, 13.50 ERA) making his second start. He gave up a series of soft hits in Boston last Saturday, allowing eight hits and six runs over four innings plus, on 88 pitches. He gave up single runs in the first, second and third and three in the fifth at Fenway Park. In that game lefty batters went 4-for-7 off him and right handers went 4-for-13 with a home run.
In one start against the Yankees last year he was 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA, allowing five runs over seven innings. In four starts versus AL East teams for Oakland in 2022, he went 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA and .595 OPS. His one start last June 29 at Yankee Stadium is his only career start against New York. He is 4-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 12 career AL East starts.
New York is pitching 25-year-old righty Jhony Brito, out of the Dominican Republic. In his big league debut Sunday against San Francisco, he pitched five scoreless innings. He walked one and fanned six, throwing 76 pitches. He gave up just two singles and got a 6-0 win.
He threw 46 percent fastballs with an average velocity of 95.3, topping at 97.2. He used his changeup 37 percent of the time and got 22 swings against it, with 11 swings and misses for a strong 50 percent whiff rate.
Scouts give Brito, the Yankees' No. 30 prospect, a 50 grade on his fastball, a 60 grade on his changeup and a 60 grade on his control.
Between New York’s Double-A and Triple-A teams in 2022, he was 11-4 with a 2.96 ERA and gave up two earned runs or fewer in 19 of 23 starts. On the farm he allowed 1.154 WHIP last year and registered a 2.8 walk rate and a 7.3 strikeout rate.