PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts went 0-for-2 with a walk in his first game since March 7, Sunday's 9- 8 win over the Rays, and the next step for him will be Tuesday's home game.
"It was a good start for him," manager Buck Showalter said of Roberts, who has been sidelined with back spasms. "I say start, but it's kind of a 'pick up where he left off' thing."
The Orioles are hoping Roberts, who was 3-for-12 in the four spring games before being sidelined, can do that just that and be ready come Opening Day. Sunday was a good step toward that, as the second baseman played five innings in the field and was in good spirits afterward, as he talked about staying in the game longer than intended.
"They told me one more at-bat, and I totally forgot after I hit [in the bottom of the fourth],"said Roberts, who stayed out on the field for the following half-inning." I guess they just figured if he's that stupid, let him keep playing."
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Following Monday's off-day, Roberts is scheduled to play in Tuesday's home game against the Yankees, a start that the second baseman didn't anticipate being a problem. Roberts pointed out that what he did in Sunday's game -- he saw 10 pitches total -- was pretty similar to what he what he had been doing the last few days at the team's complex.
"Obviously, you are going to have to pass tests as you go, steal a base or slide or make a play," Roberts said of getting ready for April 1. "[But] for the most part, just getting out there and seeing game speed and swinging the bat [at] game speed, is as big a test as any."