After playing five games in the day time in the Gulf Coast League, Brian Roberts' comeback took another step tonight as he played for the Double-A Bowie Baysox.
"There is nobody in the stands (in the GCL) and you're playing at Noon, you are just trying to wake up at that point," Roberts said. "Nice to play a night game and get back into the normal routine of the season. The fans were fun."
Roberts had a double in the first and RBI single in the second, going 2 for 5 with two runs scored and the one RBI as Bowie beat Binghamton 6-2 to start a seven-game homestand. He also handled three pretty routine plays at second base with no problems.
"Felt good. Good to get in a game with lights and fans. Have a little bit of adrenaline so it was nice to get out there. Body felt good."
Before the game, Roberts said sliding would provide a test of sorts for his back and he slid safely into second base in the last of the first, sliding feet first.
"I wasn't going to steer away from it (diving into second base), if there was an oppurtunity, but that is one where I usually go feet first if I know that I am going to be safe."
Roberts batted four times from the left side and was called out on strikes vs. southpaw Roy Merritt in the eighth inning. He said with less at bats from the right side, he is not yet fully comfortable there, but is feeling pretty at ease and in synch batting left-handed.
Counting tonight, Roberts is now 10 for 20 with two doubles, three runs and an RBI on his injury-rehab assignment. He has not yet attempted to steal a base.
"Results are always good, I don't care if you are in rehab games or the big leagues. They help build your confidence. That is a big part of this game. It's not the most important thing (results right now), but if you are hitting balls good, it's a good indication of where you are."
Roberts seemed to enjoy his first game at Bowie since he was also here on an injury rehab in May of 2006. He said Baysox shortstop Greg Miclat asked to sit down with him for some base stealing pointers and he would be happy to do that.
Orioles director of baseball operations Matt Klentak and scouting director Joe Jordan watched Roberts from the stands from behind home plate.
Roberts is expected to serve as the DH here for Bowie tomorrow then play again at second base in Wednesday's day game (11 am) here.
By the way, tomorrow is Belly Buster Tuesday here at Prince George's Stadium. You can get a lower reserve ticket for 14 dollars and with that comes a free foot-long hot dog, a bag of peanuts and a small popcorn. And Brian Roberts. Sounds like a deal.