BALTIMORE (AP) — The night before the start of the Orioles’ home opener, Baltimore native Bruce Zimmerman walked onto the field at Camden Yards.
“When we got back from Tampa, I got out on the field and went out onto the mound and tried to imagine what it would be like today,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman pitched four innings to start a successful day for Baltimore’s infamous pitching staff, and the Orioles beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 on Monday. Cedric Mullins hit a two-run single in the second.
The Baltimore pitchers — who finished last among the majors in the ERA last year — didn’t need any help from their reorganized ballpark. On the 30th anniversary of its inaugural season, Camden Yards looked quite different after pushing back a wall in left field and going tall in the off-season. However, the new dimensions were not a factor in this game.
Mullins, whose 30-30 campaign was one of the few bright spots in the 110-loss season for the Orioles last year, singles out with the bases loaded.
Baltimore won for the first time this season after winning the three-match series in Tampa Bay.
Zimmerman, the first Maryland-born pitcher to start a home opener for the Orioles since 1990, allowed three hits, hit four and walked two.
“It was better than I could have imagined,” he said. “It was the perfect weather, the sold out crowd, all the people in my family who could make it, were here. The friends I’m really close with, friends I might have played with years ago, came out. ,
Mike Bauman (1–0) played 2 1/3 innings in relief, followed by Dylan Tate and Sionel Perez. Jorge López worked a ninth to make the save.
Adrian Houser (0-1) conceded two runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked three and hit three. Two of those walks came to load the bases before Mullins’ two out hits in the second.
Aaron Ashby played a 3 1/3 no-scoring innings for the Brewers for the relief.
“I thought he pitched great,” said manager Craig Counsel. “I thought he got better because he stayed there longer.”
The Orioles faced Milwaukee in a home opener for the first time since 1995, when the Brewers were in the American League. Milwaukee played in a game in Baltimore for the first time since 2003.
The declared attendance was 44,461.
“We have to give them something to please. We have to give them something to root for,” said Orioles manager Brandon Hyde. “I thought we did today.”
The previous dimensions at Camden Yards were 333 feet from left field, 364 feet from left center and 410 feet from center. Now, the wall goes from 333 to 384, then to 398. Then it bends slightly to 376 to accommodate the Baltimore bullpen before reaching 410 in the center.
The height of the wall was increased from 7 to 13 feet.
“I saw it the first time. It’s big,” Orioles slugger Trey Mancini said before the game. “It was a little more jaw-dropping than I thought.”
Mancini came close to a homer in the first innings, but Tyrone Taylor took a formidable catch, slamming it into the wall in the right-center – where the dimensions are unchanged.
In other ballpark news, Orioles President and CEO John Angelos announced in a statement that the Maryland legislature has initiated $1.2 billion in public funding for the reinvestment and revaluation of the Camden Yards sports complex.
Counsel went out to speak to the umpire at one point, and he said that this was due to problems with the electronic system that helped the catchers to call pitches.
“Our catch is dead,” he said.
Brewers: INF Luis Urias (left quad) started the season on the injured list, meaning he is missing out on his brother Ramon’s chance to go against an INF for Baltimore.
Orioles: Baltimore placed RHP Dean Kramer (oblique left) on 10-day IL, selected the contract of RHP Spencer Watkins from Triple-A Norfolk and recalled LHP Alexander Wells from Norfolk.
LHP Eric Lauer is scheduled to start for Milwaukee Tuesday night. The Orioles haven’t announced a starter yet. The Loire goes 7-5 in 2021 with a 3.19 ERA.
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