Orioles add Triple-A Norfolk to exhibition schedule

The Orioles’ exhibition schedule doesn’t end on March 25. Only the Grapefruit League portion of it.

For the second year in a row, the Orioles will travel to Norfolk for a game against their Triple-A affiliate. The teams will play on March 26 at Harbor Park with first pitch slated for 3:05 p.m.

There’s always rain in the forecast. It’s become a tradition. But don’t let the weather dampen your enthusiasm because there’s going to be a window and the sides always manage to play.

Trey-Mancini-at-bat-orange-sidebar.jpg“The Orioles are proud of our strong, longstanding relationship with the Tides and the Norfolk community,” Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said in a statement. “This game demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our partnership and provides an opportunity for our fans in southeastern Virginia to watch some of their favorite major league stars and former Tides players, including Kevin Gausman, Trey Mancini, and Jonathan Schoop.”

The Orioles have been involved in six previous games at Harbor Park since Norfolk became their top affiliate in 2007. They faced the Nationals in 2007 and 2009 and the Tides in 2012, 2014 and 2017.

The teams played to a 3-3 tie last spring while enduring two rainstorms. J.J. Hardy homered off Brandon Barker. Richard Bleier started for the Orioles and tossed two scoreless innings, with catcher Chance Sisco producing the only hit.

Catcher Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer in 2014 to lead the Orioles to a rain-shortened 4-3 win.

“The Orioles have such an outstanding fan base in the Hampton Roads area, and we’re extremely fortunate to have a major league affiliate committed to growing baseball in our local community” Norfolk general manager Joe Gregory said in a statement. “This is yet another example of the terrific relationship we have with the entire Orioles organization. We’re excited for this event to kick off our 2018 season.”

Tickets for this year’s exhibition game will go on sale to the general public on Saturday, March 3 at 10 a.m. Box seats will be available for $25, with reserved seats available for $22. Season ticket holders and advertisers can contact the Tides front office to purchase tickets in advance of the on-sale date.

Fans will be able to purchase tickets online via www.norfolktides.com, in person at the Harbor Park box office or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

The Orioles break camp after their March 25 game against the Phillies in Clearwater, with opening day on March 29 versus the Twins at Camden Yards. Pitchers and catchers report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex on Feb. 13.

Norfolk opens its season on April 6 against Gwinnett.

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