Orioles to host ESPN’s ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ for first time since 2018 on July 30 vs. Yankees

13 July 2023

The last time the Orioles hosted ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” they were 37-93.

The circumstances July 30, when Camden Yards will host the nationally televised game for the first time since, could not be more different than during that dreadful 2018 season.

Baltimore will host the New York Yankees, the same team it welcomed to Oriole Park on Aug. 26, 2018, in a game between two teams vying for playoff spots, ESPN announced Thursday afternoon. The game, originally scheduled for 1:35 p.m., has been moved to a 7:10 p.m. first pitch.

Not only are the Orioles competing with the Yankees for a playoff spot, they’ll likely enter the contest later this month with a better record — a far cry from 2018. When New York beat the Orioles, 5-3, nearly five years ago, the Yankees improved to 83-47 — a 46-game difference in the win column over Baltimore.

Hosting “Sunday Night Baseball” is the latest in a series of examples that the post-rebuild Orioles are becoming nationally relevant. Entering the season, that 2018 game was the club’s last time hosting a nationally televised contest, but that streak ended in April when the Orioles’ game at Camden Yards against the Detroit Tigers was broadcast on FS1.

Everything from their “homer hose” celebration to the surprise breakouts of several players being featured on MLB Network to the festivities during the All-Star break have garnered far more attention than anything during the rebuild. The pinnacle of that might have been this week when Adley Rutschman captivated the baseball world by hitting 27 home runs in the first round of the Home Run Derby. That excitement continued into the All-Star Game, during which Rutschman, Austin Hays, Félix Bautista and Yennier Cano gave Baltimore its largest contingent at the Midsummer Classic since 2016.

After breaking the glass ceiling last summer and competing for a playoff spot down the stretch, Baltimore entered 2023 with expectations to regress. So far, the opposite has happened, as the Orioles entered the All-Star break with the third-best record in the major leagues at 54-35. Their 54 victories are as many as they won in 2019, two more than in 2021 and seven more than in 2018.

The Orioles’ .607 first-half winning percentage is the franchise’s best since 1997, and they’re only two games back of the American League East-leading Tampa Bay Rays.


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