BOWIE, Md - In his first at-bat since May 16, 2011, Brian Roberts drew a five-pitch walk to lead off the bottom of the first for the Double-A Bowie Baysox tonight.
You might have been looking for something more dramatic than that, but Roberts watched five consecutive pitches from Richmond Flying Squirrels lefty Mike Kickham and then ran down the line to take first base.
Yes, this is a blog entry about a walk. But, heck, we’ve come all this way.
After Buck Britton struck out, Roberts advanced to second when LJ Hoes walked. Robbie Widlansky flied out and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch with Manny Machado at bat. But Machado could not plate the runners, as he grounded out to end the first with Roberts stranded at third.
Roberts last played for the Baysox in July of 2010 on a three-game injury rehab assignment and went 6-for-14 with two doubles and three RBIs.
Today was the beginning of a 20-day rehab assignment for him that he hopes will lead back to the Orioles’ lineup after he has missed the last 166 games.
Bowie starter Zach Clark gave up a single but no runs in the top of the first as the Baysox look to improve to 19-26 with a win tonight.
Roberts is expected to come to the plate just once more tonight and then will likely be replaced by Baysox regular second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
Update: Roberts led off the last of the third and drew a four-pitch walk. That is right, two walks where he has seen nine pitches without swinging at any of them
Roberts then scored all the way from first base when Britton lined a double to right and he scored standing up with no throw. The right fielder bobbled the ball allowing Britton to advance to third and he didn’t get credit for an RBI.
In the field, Roberts handled an easy grounder right to him in the second and was in the middle of a 6-4-3 double play to end the third with Machado. There was no takeout slide at second and it was a pretty routine double play ball.
The game is tied 1-1 after three innings at Bowie. We’ll see if Roberts takes the field for the fourth inning or now comes out of this game.
Update: That’s it for Roberts, who finished with a pair of walks. As expected, Schoop will enter in as his replacement.