ABERDEEN, Md. - He didn’t get any hits Saturday in his first game since July 1, but Brian Roberts played all nine innings for the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds at Ripken Stadium in their 7-2 loss to Vermont. Roberts hopes to return for another game here tomorrow.
“Got through nine innings, so we’ll wait and see how everything goes tonight and in the morning,” Roberts said. “I’m going to go into the stadium (Camden Yards) in the morning and see those guys (the training staff) and figure out a plan for tomorrow.
“I’m a little sore all over, but we’ll just kind of see where it goes.”
Is he confident that he will play again here on Sunday?
“Yeah, I think so, as far as I know,” Roberts said outside of Aberdeen’s clubhouse as the fireworks lit up the sky over Ripken Stadium after the game.
Roberts walked and scored a run in the first, but after that went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, a pop out and flyout to center. He hit left-handed his first four times up and turned around to bat right-handed against a lefty in the bottom of the ninth.
Despite a loss and no hits, he enjoyed his night in Harford County.
“I’ve never been to Aberdeen. This was the only place in our system I’d never been,” he said. “They’ve got great support, and it’s a great stadium. These guys are having fun and playing hard. Just always good to be on the field playing.”
Did he get tested to the degree he expected tonight?
“Yeah, sure. Just being on the field, moving around and getting at-bats is a test. Glad I got to see some pitches,” Roberts said.
Meanwhile, Aberdeen manager Gary Allenson said first baseman Christian Walker left tonight’s game due to lower back stiffness, and it is a day-to-day issue. Walker is the Orioles’ fourth-round pick this year out of the University of South Carolina.
“It’s been tight. Maybe he’s not used to playing this much. You play four times a week in college. He’ll get a couple of days off just to be safe,” Allenson said.
Walker played six innings tonight, going 0-for-3. He is batting .299 with two homers and nine RBIs in 21 Aberdeen games.
Also, Allenson reports that right-handed pitcher Juan Guzman has been promoted to Single-A Delmarva. Guzman went 2-0 with an ERA of 1.66 in seven IronBirds starts. In 38 innings here, he walked 11 and fanned 43 with a WHIP of 1.00.