ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts appeared to injure his right knee in the top of the ninth inning and had to be carried off the field.
Roberts dived head-first into second on a stolen base after leading off the inning with a single. He beat the throw, but had difficulty standing up and eventually crouched as head athletic trainer Richie Bancells ran onto the field.
Bancells and first base coach Wayne Kirby carried Roberts to the dugout, and Alexi Casilla entered the game as a pinch runner with the Orioles leading 6-2.
Roberts, limited to 17 games last season and 115 over the past three years, was 1-for-4 today and 5-for-12 in the series.
An update will be available following the game, but this is clearly a disturbing development after Roberts made it through spring training healthy and was brimming with confidence and optimism.
Roberts underwent surgery on Aug. 2 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, and he had another procedure in December after being diagnosed with a sports hernia.
Roberts didn’t play in 2011 after May 16 because of concussion symptoms.
Update: Brian Matusz was charged with a run in a bizarre ninth inning, and the Orioles held on for a 6-3 win.
Matusz hit Sean Rodriguez and allowed a single to Ben Zobrist without retiring a batter. Jim Johnson replaced him, and Evan Longoria appeared to deliver an RBI double to left-center field, with Nate McLouth and Adam Jones almost colliding as they both went for the ball. However, Longoria was called out for passing Zobrist, who began to retreat.
Longoria was credited with a run-scoring single, and Chris Davis was credited with the putout.
Rays manager Joe Maddon argued the call, to no avail.
Shelley Duncan popped up, but Yunel Escobar walked to bring James Loney to the plate as the potential tying run. Loney popped up to end the game.
Update II: Roberts felt something in the bottom of his hamstring on his last push before diving into the bag. Dr. John Wilckens will examine him Friday in Baltimore.
Too early for DL speculation, but he’s obviously in pain.