Trey Mancini is batting second, playing first base and set to receive the loudest and most prolonged ovation of the day.
Cedric Mullins, who remains in center field and atop the order, has a 10-game hitting streak dating to last September.
Matt Harvey is making his second career start in Baltimore, the first coming in 2019 with the Angels. He faced the Red Sox in his Orioles debut at Fenway Park and allowed two runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Rodriguez was scratched from his opening day assignment with arm fatigue. He’s 9-5 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.110 WHIP in 19 career games against them and 5-2 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.096 WHIP in nine games at Camden Yards.
A maximum of 11,000 fans are allowed inside the ballpark, with gates opening an hour before the 3:05 p.m. first pitch.
Players are looking forward to it “big-time,” Valaika said.
“That aspect, that extra energy, adrenaline, even butterflies you get,” he said. “With fans in the stands there’s that extra level of, not pressure, but it’s more fun, you know? You hear screaming fans, you hear opposing fans trying to get in your head. There was none of that last year, so it’s definitely a lot more fun this year.”
“It’s always fun to run down that orange carpet,” said John Means. “You don’t get to when you pitch. I love doing that. It’s such a cool day in Baltimore. It’s such a good time. I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be fun to come back home. I love that place.”
“I think today’s going to be definitely different than last year,” right fielder Anthony Santander said via translator Ramón Alarcón. “I’m very happy and excited that we finally have some fans back, so hopefully we can play hard and make a good game for them. Hopefully, they can enjoy today’s game. Looking forward to it.”
Santander threw out Gio Urshela at the plate last night in the 11th inning to end the game and prevent a sweep at Yankee Stadium.
“It felt awesome,” he said. “What a way to end the game, very exciting. The pitchers did a great job yesterday, so it’s really our job as defenders to play the best we can so we can contribute to the win, so great team play overall.”
The Orioles have won four of their first six games for the third time in five seasons. They’ve struck out at least 13 times in their last four games to set a franchise record. It’s only the sixth time in major league history.
For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Trey Mancini 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Ryan Mountcastle LF
Maikel Franco DH
Pedro Severino C
Freddy Galvis SS
Rio Ruiz 3B
Pat Valaika 2B
Matt Harvey RHP