Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke to second baseman Brian Roberts for about 20 minutes today, going over the upcoming hamstring surgery and looking ahead to his eventual return to the lineup.
"He's very frustrated by it, as we are, but Brian Roberts is going to come back and make a contribution to this club this year," Showalter said. "I've got a good feeling about that."
Roberts will undergo surgery Thursday in Dallas to repair a muscle in his hamstring. His recovery time is an estimated six weeks.
"There's two Dr. Coopers there," Showalter said following tonight's 5-3 win over the Kansas City Royals. "Daniel Cooper actually did my knee. He is well thought of. He works with the Cowboys and the Stars there.
"If you look at all the scenarios and the way it's transpired, this is the best chance for him to get back and not have an issue with it again. We had Trent Mummey with our club. I know Brian's talked to him. And also (Evan) Longoria. A lot of experts think this can get you back and not have it reoccur again because it keeps the scar tissue from forming, which creates some other issues. Full support of it and hopefully he'll make the time period and be able to pick up where he left off and not have that in the back of his mind. I know what his goals are.
"He's determined. He's determined to get it right and get back. He and we got a good taste of what he means to us. I told him we're going to try to hold the fort down. He's very frustrated by it, but he's determined. He's had to fight back from a lot of things. A lot of guys would have pulled the dirt in, but he's not going to do it. He thinks we've got a chance to be competitive this year and he wants to be a part of it because he thinks he can help us, and so do I."
The Orioles moved a season-high eight games above .500 tonight, with Chris Tillman picking up his third victory in four decisions.
"His fastball wasn't quite as crisp," Showalter said. "He had an extra day this time. Good to see him survive. I think both home runs were changeups, but that's also what helped him get through the game. He had to use all his pitches. Gave us a chance. He was pretty good. He wasn't carrying his normal fastball, but the other stuff kind of offset it.
"Chris helped the defense. He worked quickly. I thought everybody had a good tempo to their outings."
J.J. Hardy homered for the third time in four games. He's batting .389 (7-for-18) with five RBIs in his last five games.
"I'm not going to jinx him," Showalter said. "J.J. works very hard. We haven't hit outside in five days. There have been some weather issues and early starts after night games. But you see all the work these guys do inside all day. These guys keep grinding. But J.J.'s had a lot of big hits for us already this year."
The Orioles have their first four-game winning streak of the season. They were described as "methodical" by one reporter.
"I don't find anything methodical about it," Showalter said. "I find it just good baseball. It's what allows you to be consistent. That's just the description of the things you have to do to be successful. Pitch well and with a good tempo, and catch it and don't walk people. And if you get some people out there, you better take advantage of it. If that's the description, than I'm in."