The Baltimore Orioles returned to Oriole Park at Camden Yards for a game against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on May 11. It's the Orioles first game at their ballpark since they played the Chicago White Sox on April 29 in a closed-door game due to the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.
The fans welcomed the Baltimore Orioles back at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 11.
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According to MLB.com's Todd Karpovich, the Orioles have been away for quite some time that fans instigated a social media campaign known as "Re-Opening Day" to welcome them back.
The last time the Orioles played in their home ballpark was on April 29 when they took on the visiting Chicago White Sox in a closed-door game due to the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore, per Karpovich. The Orioles prevailed, 8-2.
The Orioles had a scheduled home stand scheduled against their American League East division rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays, from May 1-3. However, Karpovich says the venue was moved to St. Petersburg "as a precaution."
Baltimore beat the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, 5-2, in its first home game in 15 days. This game kicks off a stretch where the Orioles play 17 of their next 20 games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, per MLB.com.
Karpovich describes the mood inside the Orioles' clubhouse prior to the game as "business as usual." Music was playing in the background while players shot some pool. Orioles manager Buck Showalter was seen emerging from his office to chat with some of his pitchers.
Orioles reliever told Karpovich on Monday he was hoping the game would re-focus people's attention from the unrest in the city:
"We understand it's just a game. There are other bigger things going on out there. If anything, the fact that we can come home and play again, have our fans here, maybe get some people's focus off what was going on out there. Just enjoy baseball again."
For his part, Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones told Karpovich he's glad to be back home:
"I missed my own bed. We were supposed to be on the road for a week and it turned into an actual 10 days. We got to do what we got to do. I'm glad to be back here in Baltimore."
Prior to the game, Showalter told The Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina the team's time away from home felt longer than two weeks:
"I haven't counted it up yet, but it feels like we've been on the road for a month. It does, even though we've been in the city some but not playing games...I think everybody is looking forward to getting back and getting on the field and getting back to the city, without a doubt, for the right reasons.
"I'm curious. There's no anxiety to it. I think it's going to be something that's going to make hopefully everyone feel better."
Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Adam Jones all hit a home run while starter Ubaldo Jimenez recorded nine strikeouts in seven innings of work in the win against the Blue Jays on Monday, per a separate MLB.com update.
Jimenez told MLB.com after the game it felt great to be back home:
"It felt great. It felt good to be back, having some pride. All of the people that came to the game tonight. they were into the game since the first pitch. So that definitely motivated us to play. You're going to have good fans out there cheering the whole game. It felt really good."
With the win, the Orioles remained in fourth place in the AL East with a 14-16 (.467) win-loss record while the Blue Jays stayed in third with a 16-17 (.485) mark.
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