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Tuesday night Orioles game thread: at Cardinals, 7:45

The Orioles will take the field at Busch Stadium for the first time in 19 years. Yeah, it’s been a minute.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
Kyle Bradish, do your thing.
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

So, what were you doing in 2003?

Me, I was in college, where I should have been doing fun things and/or getting a good education but instead wasted way too much time watching the Orioles. Now I’m a nearly 40-year-old man who still wastes way too much time watching the Orioles. C’est la vie.

Why flash back to 2003? Because that, before tonight, is the last — and only — time the Orioles have ever played a game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

That was so long ago that Albert Pujols was on the Cardinals. ...Wait, bad example.

Pujols, who has returned to the Cards this year to conclude his 22-year Hall of Fame career, is of course the only player from that 2003 series who is still active in the majors. Even legendary Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who’s also retiring after this year, hadn’t made his MLB debut at that point. The Orioles’ roster back then included such luminaries as Deivi Cruz, Geronimo Gil, Travis Driskill, Rick Bauer, and Brook Fordyce. And remember, this is the last time Cardinals fans saw the Orioles in person! They’re going to be showing up to tonight’s game all, “Wait, where’s Tony Batista?”

It’s hard to believe it’s taken nearly two decades for the O’s to make a return trip. Let’s hope they make it worthwhile. They’ll start out by facing the delightfully named Packy Naughton, a lefty reliever who’s being pressed into opener duty tonight while Adam Wainwright remains on the COVID IL. The Cardinals’ lineup tonight includes Molina but not Pujols, while the Orioles run their usual slate of starters onto the field to back Kyle Bradish, making his third major league start.

Orioles lineup:

CF Cedric Mullins
DH Trey Mancini
LF Anthony Santander
RF Austin Hays
1B Ryan Mountcastle
2B Ramon Urias
3B Tyler Nevin
C Robinson Chirinos
SS Jorge Mateo

RHP Kyle Bradish

Cardinals lineup:

2B Tommy Edman
1B Paul Goldschmidt
3B Nolan Arenado
DH Juan Yepez
LF Tyler O’Neill
RF Dylan Carlson
C Yadier Molina
CF Harrison Bader
SS Brendan Donovan

LHP Packy Naughton