The grand re-opening of Brian Roberts‘ career was a smash hit tonight at Camden Yards. A 3-for-4 night including a sacrifice fly that scored a run. His first at-bat in the home half of the first produced a sharp single on a 3-2 pitch, and a night of patient at-bats from the leadoff spot was almost as welcome a sight as anything else Oriole fans saw.
As important as anything else was how he felt, and he reported no problems and looked refreshed and as healthy as ever. On the whole, everything went down as if he’d never even been away.
It benefited at least one other person as well – which is part of the point. Adam Jones went 4 for 5, with a double, a solo homer, 2 RBI and 2 runs. Something just seems to happen when your leadoff hitter has a productive night. It happened to Chris Davis, too, hitting third and going 2 for 5 with a 2-run homer.
Speaking of the third spot, when Nick Markakis returns from his broken hammate bone and fits in there, the Orioles will have their intended one-through-five hitters in their places for the first time since Roberts last played, in May of last year. Roberts, Hardy, Markakis, Jones and Wieters.
Steve Tolleson drew the short straw and got sent to Norfolk in the lineup shuffle, which doesn’t seem like fair compensation for tying Sunday’s game with a 3-run home run.
If people like Brian Matusz, Tommy Hunter and whoever wants to be No. 5 in the rotation can get consistent instead of sending their evil twin to the mound every other time out, we may just have something here.