Brian Roberts tied the alltime MLB record for doubles by switch-hitter in a single season on Tuesday night, when he sent a bouncer skidding up the right-field line. That gave Roberts 55 doubles for the season, tying the mark Lance Berkman set for Houston in 2001. If he gets five more doubles this season, Roberts will tie the alltime mark for second basemen.
Roberts also had a chance at a double in the early innings but was thrown out at second. Baltimore’s second baseman extends his franchise record with every double he nets and is one of four players alltime who have had three 50-double seasons. The only others in that group are Hall-of-Famers Paul Waner, Tris Speaker and Stan Musial.
— Spencer Fordin
Brian Roberts set a new career high and a new Orioles record with his 52nd double of the season on Tuesday night, a hit that moved him within eight two-baggers of the alltime record for second baseman. Charlie Gehringer set that mark — with 60 doubles — in 1936.
Brian Roberts got crossed up at second base
in the fifth inning on Tuesday, when he apparently forgot how
many outs there were and kept on running on a popup. Roberts,
who had been standing on second base with one out, loped all
the way around the bases on a popup in front of the plate and
was easily doubled up after the catch was
Brian Roberts may not be fully healed from his assorted aches and pains, but he’s good enough to play. Baltimore’s leadoff hitter was right back in the lineup Monday and sporting a shin guard on his left leg to guard against a recurrence of a recent injury.
Roberts fouled a ball off his left shin in Saturday’s game and head to leave early, and he sat out Sunday’s game as a precaution. Monday, he was back and ready to play.
“If people were in Toronto yesterday,” said manager Dave Trembley, “Then you saw he had ice on his foot, his shin, his knee, his wrist. He’s a little guy who’s been beaten up pretty good. I’m sure his shin is still sore today, but he wants to play and he’ll be in there.”
Roberts, who has batted leadoff in 107 of his team’s 112 games, is well known for a maniacal conditioning regimen and a willingness to play every day. For those reasons and more, it’s doubly hard for Trembley to convince him to take a day off every now and then.
“He’s the one true leadoff hitter on this team,” he said. “When he’s not in the lineup, you scramble to try and put it together. I’m glad he’s back in there today.”
Brian Roberts was injured in a collision at second base with Toronto catcher Rod Barajas in the second inning on Monday, the result of a full-force slide that left him walking gingerly for the rest of the inning. Roberts stayed in the game and hit a key triple in the seventh inning in Baltimore’s victory, and the Orioles lifted him from the game for the eighth and ninth.
Roberts was diagnosed with a left shin contusion and is initially regarded as day-to-day, but the two-time All-Star said that he hopes to be able to play on Tuesday.
“We’ll see how it is in the morning,” he said. “It got stiff and sore as the game moved on. When you are running you don’t really think about it. When I stopped is when it hurt.”
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said before Saturday’s game that you can’t really see balls and strikes from the dugout, but hours later, he saw enough to back one of his players. Early in the game, Trembley saw that second baseman Brian Roberts was jawing back and forth with home-plate umpire Doug Eddings and charged out of the dugout to intercede.
The game continued after a brief delay, but both teams seemed to deal with an inconsistent strike zone throughout the night. Most of the players chose not to comment on the floating zone, and Trembley spoke about his plate conference with appropriate caution.
“I have to be real careful,” he said. “Let me put it to you this way: [Josh] Beckett is a great pitcher. He doesn’t need any help. Our guys are just as good as anybody else and they should be afforded the same amount of respect that everybody else gets. The strike zone is the strike zone. You guys up there could see it.
“No one’s perfect. I can’t argue balls and strikes, but I’m going to keep Roberts in the game and I’m going to let Doug know that Beckett is pretty good. He doesn’t need any help and if you’re going to do it, do it for us as well.”
Brian Roberts was held out of Saturday’s game due to a respiratory illness, the same ailment that caused him to be a late scratch on Friday. Still, despite the persistent illness, manager Dave Trembley expects that Roberts will be just fine by Opening Day.
“When he went to Team USA, he played three or four days in a row and played nine innings each time,” said Trembley. “I don’t think that’s a problem there.”