Is Brian Roberts trying to make a statement here?
If so, it may go something like, “You really should re-sign me.”
Roberts homered again tonight, leading off the bottom of the third with a shot to left field off Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester to increase the Orioles’ lead to 2-0.
Roberts has eight home runs on the season, and three in his last five games. In that span, he’s 8-for-20 with five runs scored.
Approached by reporters again today, Roberts repeated that his first choice is to remain with the Orioles. However, he’s not ready to retire and will go elsewhere if the team that drafted him in 1999 is ready to cut ties.
It would have to be the right situation, but he’s willing to don another uniform.
Before this season, the chances of Roberts staying with the Orioles appeared miniscule at best, and those odds didn’t improve after his injury in the third game at Tropicana Field. Now, it’s quite possible that the two sides work out a deal over the winter - one loaded with incentives.
That’s my prediction.
The Orioles broke a scoreless tie in the second inning on Nick Markakis’ infield single with two outs and Steve Pearce’s double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. Markakis took a nasty spill on his hit, tripping over the bag and drawing a lot of concerned looks from the dugout, but he scored standing up on the double.
Wei-Yin Chen was shutting out the Red Sox until David Ross’ two-out bloop single in the fourth that scored Jonny Gomes. Roberts, Markakis and Chris Davis had the ball surrounded, but nobody made the catch.
Chen has allowed one run and five hits in four innings, with one walk and three strikeouts. He threw 25 pitches in the first inning while stranding two runners, 11 in the second and 12 in the third. He’s up to 71 through the fourth.
Update: The Red Sox tied the game in the top of the fifth on Stephen Drew’s one-out double and Dustin Pedroia’s single, but the Orioles scored twice off Lester in the bottom half to take a 4-2 lead.
Matt Wieters singled to score J.J. Hardy and produce his 79th RBI. Danny Valencia followed with a run-scoring single.
Update II: The Red Sox scored again in the sixth, chasing Chen with one out and the Orioles leading 4-3.
Chen allowed three runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 96 pitches, 68 for strikes.
In his last three starts, Chen worked 5 2/3, 4 1/3 and 5 1/3 innings. He failed to complete six innings in five of his last seven outings, posting a 6.62 ERA. Chen finishes the season with a 4.07 ERA.
Tonight’s attendance: 36,556
Update III: The Red Sox tied the game in the seventh on the first three hits allowed by Josh Stinson in eight appearances this month. He hadn’t given up a run, either, until tonight.
Brian Matusz replaced Stinson with runners on first and second and one out. Daniel Nava singled into left field, and Dustin Pedroia raced home when Jason Pridie bobbled the ball. Jonny Gomes was thrown out at third base.
No RBI for Nava, who tied his career high with four hits.
Pridie is having some issues in left field this week.
Matusz had let only four of 35 inherited runners score before tonight.
Kevin Gausman struck out pinch-hitter Mike Carp to end the inning.