O's game blog: Opening Day in Baltimore against the New York Yankees

After playing series in Boston and Texas, the Orioles will finally reunite with their home fans today for Opening Day in Baltimore. The Orioles (3-3) host the New York Yankees (4-2) to start a three-game series and seven-game homestand.

The Orioles have gone 45-24 in home openers in club history, including 21-10 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Birds defeated the Milwaukee Brewers last year, 2-0, to snap a three-season losing streak in home openers since 2019. The Orioles are 4-4 when their home opener is against the Yankees. The last time they played New York on this day was 2020 – a 9-3 Yankees win. They also won home openers versus New York in 1964, 1972, 2002 and 2009.  

The Orioles own a 1,199-1,222-2 (.495) all-time record in 2,423 games at Oriole Park since 1992. The Birds have mashed 3,012 home runs at Oriole Park since the ballpark opened, including 55 long balls that have landed on the iconic Eutaw Street promenade that separates the ballpark and the historic B&O Warehouse.

The Orioles went 1-2 at Boston and 2-1 at Texas. Wednesday’s 5-2 loss at Texas snapped Baltimore’s eight-game win streak against that club.

The O's opened the 2023 season by hitting multiple home runs in each of their first five games, tied for the third-longest streak to start a season by a team since at least 1901, and tied with the 1994 Orioles for the longest streak in club history. Baltimore was the only MLB team to start the ‘23 campaign with five consecutive multi-homer games. This marked the fifth time in club history that the Orioles homered in each of their first five games to start a season, and first since 2012.

Through yesterday’s games, the Orioles are tied for second with the Yankees in homers in the American League with 11. Tampa Bay is first with 13 and Boston is fourth with 10 meaning AL East clubs hold those top four spots.

The Yankees are beginning their first road trip of the year today. They have won their first two series for just the second time in the last 12 seasons (won their first four in 2020). They've won four of their first six games for the second time in four years, third time in six years, and for the fourth time in eight years (5-1 in 2020, 4-2 in 2016 and 2018). New York has scored first in five of their six games and scored in the first inning in four of their six games.

Yankees relievers had their 13 innings scoreless streak snapped on Wednesday. They have allowed just five earned runs in 23 2/3 this season, posting a 1.90 ERA through their first six games. New York's staff ERA of 2.33 ranks third right now in the AL behind Minnesota (1.90) and Tampa Bay (2.00). With a team ERA of 5.40, the O's are 11th in team ERA in the AL.

Right-hander Dean Kremer ( 0-0, 15.00) makes his second start today. He pitched on Saturday at Boston and gave up six hits and five runs in three innings. The O's staked him to an early 7-1 lead but he allowed a pair of two-run homers in the Boston third to Alex Verdugo and Adam Duvall as Boston got back in the game and later won it. Both homers were hit off cutters.

Last year Kremer had the ninth-lowest homer rate (0.8 per nine) in the AL for pitchers with a minimum of 125 innings. In that first start, lefty batters hit 3-for-9 off him and right-handed batters went 3-for-5 and did some big damage, producing a double, triple and home run.

Kremer was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA versus New York last night and for six career starts is 1-3 with a 5.34 ERA versus the Yankees. In 23 career AL East games, he is 2-11 with a 5.85 ERA.

In 2022 games at Oriole Park, Kremer went 3-4 with a 2.84 ERA, allowing a .239 batting average against and .611 OPS.

Right-hander Clarke Schmidt (0-0, 8.10 ERA) will be making his second start as well. On Saturday against San Francisco he gave up five hits and three runs over 3 1/3 innings, throwing 76 pitches. A first-round pick of the Yankees (No. 16 overall) in the 2017 draft he went 5-5 with a 3.12 ERA last year in 29 games with three starts. He posted a 1.197 WHIP with a 3.6 walk rate and 8.7 strikeout rate. 

In his first start this year he threw his fastball 42 percent with an average velocity of 94.9 mph adding a splitter 28 percent, slider 25 percent and knuckle curve five percent of the time. 

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