DL Hall knows Camden Yards better than most visiting pitchers, even if he had to be told where the visitors clubhouse was.

Until last offseason, this stadium and the Orioles were all he knew. He was drafted in 2017, debuted in 2022 and played a key role in the bullpen down the stretch as the Orioles won the American League East in 2023.

His days with Baltimore, though, ended in February, when the Orioles, operating as a winning ballclub, traded him and infielder Joey Ortiz to Milwaukee for ace Corbin Burnes. It was the first instance of the Orioles sacrificing a piece of their future for the present. It won’t be the last.

“We’re looking to win this year,” general manager Mike Elias said. “We want to get back to the playoffs. We want to make a better run than we did last year. ... We have extremely high belief in this 2024 team. It’s pretty self-evident when you do something like the Corbin Burnes trade. We are going to see DL Hall; we saw Joey Ortiz. We gave up good players in that trade. We knew we gave up good players in that trade, but we wanted the No. 1 starter.”

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With Milwaukee, Hall is a No. 2 starter and gets to take the ball every five days. If he had stayed with Baltimore, he would have had to fight for a rotation spot and may have ended up back in the bullpen.

On Saturday, he galloped out of the visiting dugout, hopping over the foul line, and looked toward the home team. A few months ago, these were his friends, Hall even standing next to them at their weddings. Now, they were his competition.

Hall didn’t have a stellar day — neither starting pitcher did on a day when the wind lifted balls out of the ballpark five times — but he did enough as his new team beat the Orioles 11-5.

“I feel like I did a pretty good job treating it as a regular game, just another game,” Hall said. “It was awesome to get in front of those fans again, obviously a great feeling. I had a great relationship with the fans here. It was awesome to hear them cheer for me too. That was pretty cool. I know that was pretty hard to do today.”

The Orioles have dropped the first two games to the Brewers and are at risk of being swept for the first time in a regular-season series since May 13-15, 2022. That’s 95 consecutive series in which they have won at least one game.

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Burnes will take the mound Sunday against his former team, and a long start would be much appreciated with the Orioles’ taxed bullpen. They played an extra-inning game on Thursday and had short starts on Friday and Saturday.

“It’s nice that we have Burnes going tomorrow,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I’m hoping we can get a really good start out of him. He’s been wonderful for us so far. Hopefully, that can continue.”

Hall got two quick outs, then gave up a home run to Ryan Mountcastle and hit Anthony Santander with a pitch. Jordan Westburg followed with a two-run home run. Adley Rutschman homered in the third, his first of the season, and the Orioles drove Hall out after he gave up five runs in 3 1/3 innings. It was the shortest start of his major league career.

“DL did not have his best outing against a great team. I think he put too much pressure on himself,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said. “He didn’t locate his fastball as good as he can.”

But, on the other side, Hall’s former teammate Dean Kremer had an even tougher time in the conditions. He gave up eight runs on 10 hits in four innings, folding over in frustration after giving up a three-run homer to Jake Bauers in the fourth to give the Brewers an 8-5 lead. That ended up being all Milwaukee would need.

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“He wasn’t as sharp as he was his last few starts,” Hyde said. “That’s going to happen. He did give up some soft contact for hits, a little bit unlucky, and just trying to get through that fourth inning lays a pitch right down the middle to Bauers.”

Paul Mancano contributed reporting to this story.

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College.

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