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Orioles' 2021 schedule is released, looks similar to 2020

Orioles' 2021 schedule is released, looks similar to 2020

Though the 2020 MLB season has not yet begun, the 2021 MLB schedule was released on Thursday. For the Baltimore Orioles, next year's campaign is somewhat similar to the condensed season they'll begin playing starting at the end of July.

Much like this year, Baltimore will open up the season on the road against the Boston Red Sox. The three-game series will take place from April 1-4, with an off day scheduled after the first game of the series. Opening Day for all 30 teams will be on April 1.

As for interleague play, the Orioles face the same National League opponents they'll see in 2020. Facing off against the NL East, Baltimore will play the Marlins and the Phillies on the road, and host the Braves and Mets. They'll also have the standard home-road series with the Nationals. Games at Nationals Park will be played on May 21-23, while the matchups at OPACY will be on July 23-25.

RELATED: O'S 2020 SCHEDULE

Sticking with the theme, the Orioles will close the season with a three-game road series against the Toronto Blue Jays, just like they do in 2020. The 2021 regular season will come to a close on October 3.

There are really two main differences between the Orioles 2020 and 2021 schedules, and in a normal season, they wouldn't be as noticeable. First, the plan is to once again have 162 games be played in the next campaign. That means Baltimore will get the opportunity to play teams from the AL West and AL Central, something that was eliminated this year.

The release of the 2021 schedule came at an unexpected time, as baseball just figured out 2020 earlier in the month. There were no prior hints that a drop was coming, and it's the earliest the league has ever released the schedule for the following year.  

A 60-game season in 2020 may slightly delay Baltimore's plan for the future in terms of prospects, but 2021 could still prove to be the year that faces of the rebuild like Adley Rutschman make their MLB debuts.

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Orioles catcher Bryan Holaday finishes game as pitcher as Orioles blown out by Nationals 15-3

Orioles catcher Bryan Holaday finishes game as pitcher as Orioles blown out by Nationals 15-3

After six straight wins led by their offense, the Orioles seemed due for an off night. And they finished it off with catcher Bryan Holaday on the mound.

Holaday was the 17th position player in Orioles history to pitch in a game, and the last since Stevie Wilkerson recorded a save last year against the Angels. But he only entered the game when the score was out of hand. 

The Orioles suffered a blowout loss in the first game of a three-game set against the Nationals on Friday at Camden Yards in a 15-3 loss, the first loss where the team was never in the game in a few weeks. 

Holaday’s finish wasn’t the only unique part of Friday’s game, as Keegan Akin made his major league debut. Akin threw three innings, allowed two hits and three earned runs with one home run allowed. He was sent to the team’s alternate training site at Double-A Bowie after the game.

“I thought he threw the ball really well,” manager Brandon Hyde said of Akin’s debut. “I was really encouraged by how he threw the ball. Really nice life to his fastball, good tempo, he flashed some decent breaking balls. He went out and attacked hitters and I was really impressed with him making his debut tonight and facing a lot of tough hitters for the Washington Nationals and he did a nice job.”

RELATED: ORIOLES COMPLETE RARE FEAT OF TWO SERIES SWEEPS IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS

As was a problem throughout the night, however, the Orioles didn’t play good defense. They were credited with just one error, but the defense was more shoddy than that would suggest.

Starting pitcher Tommy Milone threw four innings, allowed nine hits and six runs — but three were unearned as the Orioles fell behind in the second inning and never came back. The Nationals scored in six of their nine offensive innings, including a six run outburst in the eighth inning.

The offense wasn’t much help, as they recorded just six hits compared to the Nationals 19 in a disappointing performance across the board. Anthony Santander slugged a home run in the first inning off Stephen Strasburg, who left with an injury in the inning, but the Orioles were quiet the rest of the night in a dominating defeat.

“I just didn’t think we played well defensively,” Hyde said. “I think we’ve been pretty good for the most part, especially in the infield. Tonight just wasn’t our best night defensively. We just didn’t play very well. So we just chalk this up, try to put this one behind us.”

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Orioles complete rare feat of two series sweeps in less than 24 hours

Orioles complete rare feat of two series sweeps in less than 24 hours

The Orioles’ 2020 season has been remarkably weird. Friday, they added another unique feat to the pile.

After last Sunday’s game was postponed due to a tarp malfunction, the Orioles completed the game five days later with a 6-2 win over the Nationals at Camden Yards on Friday evening. 

With the Orioles leading 5-2 in the sixth inning last weekend, a brief but strong storm came over Nats Park in Washington, causing a brief delay. 

But the grounds crew had trouble handling the tarp, and the infield was soaked and the field became unplayable. Due to a section in the rulebook which allows for a mechanical malfunction the game was postponed and not called off, meaning both teams had to complete the game on Friday at Oriole Park.

The Orioles, for the third time in the 2020 season, were the road team at Camden Yards.

In another weird quirk, Stephen Strasburg started two games that were completed on Friday. He was given a loss in game one before his start in game two.

The win completed the sweep for the Orioles, who have now won six games in a row. If they’d lost, they’d have still been winners of three straight games. Earlier this week, the Orioles swept the Phillies on the road with some standout performances from their bats.

Now 11-7 with their regularly scheduled three-game series against the Nationals still to come, the Orioles are continuing to surprise the league as the season approaches one-third completion.

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