O's game blog: O's look for 2-0 start, series win against Angels

The Orioles (1-0) host the Los Angeles Angels (0-1) today at Oriole Park, looking for their first 2-0 start since they began the 2021 season going 3-0. That year they swept three in a row at Boston to begin the season. 

The Orioles took a 5-1 lead in the second inning on Thursday and led 7-1 after the fourth on their way to an 11-3 win in the season opener. A sellout crowd of 45,029 cheered on the Birds in downtown Baltimore.

The Orioles improved to 46-25 all-time in season openers and have won 11 of the last 14. They are 33-13 when opening the season in Baltimore.

The win Thursday was their first season-opening game at home since 2018 as the Orioles began their 71st season in Baltimore.

The Angels, who have lost on Opening Day 10 times in the last 11 years, began their 64th season in MLB. The Angels are now 31-33 in opening games.

The Orioles scored 10 runs or more in an opener for the eighth time. The 11 runs is their second-most ever in an opener behind a 13-5 win over Kansas City in 1982.

Winning pitcher Corbin Burnes fanned 11 without issuing a walk over six innings. He gave up a first-inning homer to Mike Trout and then retired 16 straight batters through the sixth before he gave the game over to the bullpen.

Anthony Santander hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs in the win. He also homered on Opening Day in 2022. Cedric Mullins’ three-run homer in the seventh was his first career Opening Day home run.

Thursday's game marked the beginning of a six-game, season-opening homestand for the Birds. The O's went 49-32 (.605) at Oriole Park in 2023, the third-best record in ballpark history, which dates to 1992, behind the 2014 and 2016 teams who went 50-31 (.617). Baltimore had the third-best home record in the AL last season behind Tampa Bay at 53-28 (.654) and Texas at 50-31 (.617), and tied for the fifth-best in MLB.

As for the Angels, their two hits was their fewest ever in an opener and the eight-run loss margin was the second-worst ever behind a nine-run loss to the Cubs in their 2016 opener.

Today the Orioles send right-hander Grayson Rodriguez (7-4, 4.35 ERA in 2023) to the mound for his season debut. In his last 13 starts of last season, he was 5-2 with a 2.58 ERA. In his last six regular-season starts, he was 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA.

Rodriguez allowed five runs in 1 2/3 innings in Game 2 of the AL Division Series versus Texas.

In two career starts versus the Angels he is 1-1 with a 9.64 ERA, giving up 10 earned runs over 9 1/3 innings.

Right-hander Griffin Canning (7-8, 4.32 ERA in 2023) will take the ball for the visitors. Over 24 games last season he pitched 127 innings with a 1.236 WHIP, a 2.6 walk rate and 9.9 strikeout rate. The Angels went 10-12 in his starts last season.

Canning has reverse splits, meaning right-handed batters hit him better than lefties. Versus lefty hitters last season he gave up a .217 batting average and .632 OPS. In his career he yields an OPS of .692 to lefty batters. Last season, right-handers hit .271 off him with an OPS of .826. And for his career, right-handers have an OPS of .821 versus Canning.

In four career games against the Orioles he is 0-3 with an 11.05 ERA and has allowed seven homers in 14 2/3 innings.

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