(SportsNetwork.com) – Perhaps the third time will be the charm for Charm City.
After the first two games of Baltimore’s series with the Chicago White Sox
were postponed due to protests in the city, the two teams will attempt to get
one in on Thursday before an empty Camden Yards.
After conferring with local officials, it was determined that the contest
should be played without fan admittance in order to minimize safety concerns.
The game was also moved up five hours to avoid conflicting with a citywide
curfew that begins at 10 p.m.
The unusual situation has come about due to protests in the city that turned
violent in the wake of the tragic death of 25-year-old Freddy Gray, who died
from a spinal injury while in police custody over a week ago.
According to STATS, since 1987, the lowest attendance has been 746 when the
White Sox hosted Toronto at Comiskey Park on April 9, 1997. The New York
Yankees’ home game against the White Sox on Sept. 22, 1966, had a listed
attendance of 413.
Wednesday’s attendance will be listed as 0.
Also, Baltimore’s weekend series with Tampa Bay has been shifted from Camden
Yards to Tropicana Field in Florida, with the Orioles remaining the home team
and batting last.
“Nobody likes to lose home games, and this season we will be playing more
games on the road than at home,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “But
there are more important things involved here. We discussed every possible
scenario, and this is what fits the best.”
In addition, Monday’s and Tuesday’s postponed games will be made up as part of
a doubleheader at Camden Yards on Thursday, May 28th.
Meanwhile, Ubaldo Jimenez will try to bounce back from his first loss of the
season on Wednesday.
Jimenez had been 1-0 through his first two starts and hadn’t allowed a run in
either outing. However, his luck ran out against the Toronto Blue Jays on
Wednesday, as they reached him for four runs and six hits in five innings.
He also walked three batters in the fourth inning.
“I was trying to be too fine,” Jimenez said. “I was trying to nibble too much
around the corners and throwing too many breaking balls and that made me fall
Jimenez has faced the White Sox 10 times and is 2-3 against them with a 5.01
Baltimore’s bats certainly did not need this break after managing 18 runs in
Sunday’s finale with the Red Sox. The Orioles took two of three in that
series, but still have yet to win a game in which they’ve scored fewer than
four runs this season.
As for Chicago, it will hand the ball to righty Jeff Samardzija, who is
currently appealing his five-game suspension for his part in the fracas with
the Kansas City Royals last week.
Samardzija has allowed one run in his last two starts and is 1-1 on the year
with a 3.33 ERA. The Shark picked up his first win with the ChiSox on
Wednesday against Cleveland, limiting the Indians to six hits over six
Baltimore won five of six from the White Sox last season.