SAN DIEGO — The day after Major League Baseball doled out hefty suspensions after its investigation into Biogenesis, the Orioles faced a San Diego Padres team that will be without one of its best players — shortstop and National League stolen base leader Everth Cabrera — for the rest of the regular season.
No Orioles received punishment as part of the investigation — designated hitter Danny Valencia was cleared in the case — and Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy said he believes players are glad that baseball has taken added measures to try to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs.
"I would say everyone that doesn't cheat, I would be pretty confident in saying that they're not happy about other guys being able to take it and getting away with it," he said. "Everyone that hasn't cheated and doesn't cheat I'm sure wants this game to be clean. I think that this is a big step towards that.
"I think it's a step that needed to be taken," added Hardy, who while in Milwaukee was a teammate and friend of Ryan Braun, who was suspended through the regular season last month. "I think everyone in here wants this game to be clean and hopefully this is a big step to get it that way."
Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis told The Sun on Monday that PED users were "stealing money" and added he believes that first-time offenders should receive an automatic five-year suspension.
Hardy said he supported a tougher penalty, provided testing is 100 percent accurate.
"It's hard to say," Hardy said. "You've just got to worry about those cases maybe the person wasn't aware that he wasn't taking something — for that case, that would [stink]. … It's a consequence that I think if you think about it, it's not worth the consequences. People say the risk for reward, you know, it's not worth it. If there was some way to prove, 'Yeah we knew we were cheating,' then yeah. … I just worry about a person who thought they were taking an Aleve and took someone that made a [urine] test go bad."
Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts said he supported this week's measures to clean up the game.
"I think that we all know that everybody wants all of this kind of put behind us and cleaned up," said Roberts, who in 2007 admitted to using steroids once in 2003. "But at the same time, you understand that in every sport and every profession it's not just sports, there's always going to be some problem. It's unfortunate that that's the way our society works and this world works, but I think you do the best you can to get everything cleaned up as well as you can. I think that's what we're constantly as a union and as major league baseball are trying to do. I think that that's the direction we're heading."
Roberts returns from paternity leave
Roberts was activated from the paternity list and was back in the Orioles starting lineup Tuesday, batting eighth and starting at second base.
Roberts' wife, Diana, gave birth to the couple's first child Friday, a son named Jax Isaac. Roberts rejoined the team for their cross-country flight to San Diego on Monday.
"Obviously, I know I have a job to do, but it's the one time that I wasn't afraid to say I wasn't going to be there," Roberts said. "Our organization and [manager] Buck [Showalter] and everybody was great. They said your family comes first, you only experience this once so be there and enjoy it, make sure everything's good before you're ready to go again."
Roberts was glad that the schedule allowed him to be by his wife's side during the birth, something that can be rare given the travel of major league teams.
"It worked out well. You never know with our schedule and what goes on," he said. "Once we kinda got past that last road trip, I kind of had the feeling that I was in the clear. … I'm really thankful to have been there and support my wife as much as she's been there for me the past couple of years. To be able to be beside her and support her, it was great."
Feldman available out of pen
Right-hander Scott Feldman, who isn't listed among the Orioles' probable starting pitchers for their series in San Francisco this weekend, was available out of the bullpen Tuesday.
Feldman was in line to start Saturday's game against the Giants, but instead he will likely be pushed back to next week's series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Wei-Yin Chen is scheduled to start Saturday's game in San Francisco and Bud Norris will pitch in Sunday's series finale against the Giants.
Two off days within four days — Monday and Thursday — have allowed Showalter to tinker with the rotation.
Feldman has experience pitching in relief — as does Miguel Gonzalez, who was available out of the bullpen Sunday — and it allow the Orioles to avoid pitching Norris, who has struggled against the Diamondbacks over his career, in Arizona. Norris is 0-4 with a 12.60 ERA in five starts against the Diamondbacks and is 0-2 with a 12.86 ERA in three starts at Chase Field.
Around the horn
Playing in his first minor league rehabilitation game in the GCL Gulf Coast League, DH Wilson Betemit was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk Tuesday. Showalter said he was told Betemit was "running a little gingerly," but the report was positive. … Lefty Tsuyoshi Wada threw five shutout innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, allowing just four hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. … The Orioles named Double-A Bowie right-hander Tyler Wilson the organization's minor league pitcher of the month for July. Wilson was 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA in six July starts and is 8-2 with a 3.63 ERA this season between Class-A Frederick and Bowie. Short-season Single-A Aberdeen outfielder Mike Yastrzemski had been named the organizations position player of the month.. ... The Orioles and KidsPeace announced Tuesday that the fourth annual Trick-or-Trot 5K/1-Mile Walk hosted by Showalter and his wife Angela will be held Nov. 2. The race will begin and end at Camden Yards.
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