By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
7:28 PM EDT, March 19, 2013
Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored and two stolen bases in his first road game of the spring Tuesday.
Roberts, who was limited to 115 games the past three seasons because of injuries, is returning from hip and sports hernia surgery in 2012 and concussion symptoms that have plagued him in the past. With less than two weeks remaining in spring training, he will begin to see more regular playing time to prepare for the grind of the regular season. After playing Tuesday, he’s also expected to start Wednesday and Thursday at home.
“I think today was a big step,” Roberts said. “I felt really good. I felt confident in getting on the bases and running and being aggressive. I think my mindset has continued to get better and better every day, continue to get more and more confident in what I'm doing in every aspect of the game.
“And the speed of the game is starting to come back and I'm starting to slow everything down more and more. I think part of it is playing multiple days in a row and getting used to trying to get prepared to go out there and play a whole bunch of games.”
Roberts showed good defensive awareness in the second inning when he fielded Ryan Sweeney’s grounder, touched second for a force out and threw to third to get a slow runner there for an unconventional 4-5 double play. He also stole his second base of the spring in the third inning, diving head first, then swiped another base standing up in the seventh.
“I think the more you do it, the more confident you get, and I think I'm really getting there,” Roberts said. “I didn't feel that way last year. I feel like when I get on now, I want to run and I want to do those things. I'm confident that there won't be any problems, and that's a much better place to be than I was at last season.”
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