Rays, ex-Orioles reliever Shawn Armstrong excited for playoff atmosphere

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

BALTIMORE — The Rays see this week’s four-game series against the Orioles as a prime opportunity to improve their chances of reclaiming the American League East lead.

Reliever Shawn Armstrong does, too.

But he has a different perspective, having played for the Orioles from 2019-21, when they didn’t play (losing 108 and 110 games in the two full seasons) or draw well during an extended rebuild following their last playoff appearance in 2016.

“I think it’ll be a lot of fun,” Armstrong said. “I think it’ll be a sold-out crowd all four games. It’s one of the things when I played there, that’s what they always talked about, the 2014-15-16 years, how much fun it was.

“There’s people that I went to school with (at East Carolina) that are from there and just talk about how awesome that atmosphere was. I mean, I’m excited. I’m excited to be there.”

Armstrong is intrigued to see Orioles Park at Camden Yards — which last hosted playoff games in 2014 — loud and crowded.

“I’m excited to get back and see it sold out,” he said. “I didn’t get to experience it a whole lot, except for opening day and Memorial Day. It’s a city where they support their teams so hard. … It’s going to a be a playoff atmosphere.”

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