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Brian Roberts hopes his stay in Norfolk doesn't last long

Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday at Triple-A Norfolk, hopes his stay there is a short one.

Roberts hasn't played in a game since the third game of the regular season, when he injured his right hamstring sliding on a successful stolen base attempt.

"Obviously, there will be a lot of factors that play into it," Roberts said. "But to be brutally honest, I don't want to be there long. As soon as I'm ready I'm going to call them and say I'm good. I don't know if that's three days or 10 days, but hopefully not the latter."

Realistically, Roberts — who has been limited to 118 games over the past four seasons because of various injuries — said he believes his stay will be between three games and a week.

For the past two weeks, Roberts has continued his rehab from May 9 hamstring surgery with the team. In recent days, he's been a full participant in pregame batting practice activities, both hitting and fielding.

Now all that's left is getting in games and getting at-bats.

"It's been a lot longer road than I thought initially," Roberts said. "There were some discouraging days, but nothing I haven't been through in the past. I'm excited. Being with the team and watching and being a part of it is awesome, but at the same time being on the sidelines is no fun. I'm excited to get back in and be a part of what's going on. I think we have a great chance of doing something special."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he will lean on Roberts to know when he's ready to return to the active roster. Special assistant Terry Crowley will supervise Roberts' rehab assignment.

"I think some of it will be how you feel in the box and obviously the big thing is how you feel moving around," Roberts said. "Are you getting your legs under you? Are you explosive enough to do what you need to do?

"I'm going to obviously try to be honest. I don't want to hurt our team by any means, but I also realize after being out for two months you're not going to feel perfect. So at some point you're just going to have to go and jump back into the fire. That's part of being hurt unfortunately."

Flaherty heating up

Second baseman Ryan Flaherty recorded his first multi-homer game in the Orioles' 13-5 loss to Toronto and also had his first three-RBI game of the season.

Flaherty took an 0-1 fastball from Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson in the seventh inning for a two-run homer and then hit a solo shot in the ninth off reliever Dustin McGowan.

"I put together a couple good at-bats today and the past couple days," Flaherty said. "I'm just trying to be consistent and help this team."

But over the past five games, Flaherty has raised his average 30 points to .191. He is riding a five-game hitting streak and is 8-for-19 (.421 average) in that span.

Flaherty has hit three homers in three games. He also homered Friday night, snapping a 20-game homerless streak.

Chen could be back sooner than expected

Showalter indicated that left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, who is slated to throw a four-inning simulated game Monday in Sarasota, might only need one minor league rehab start before he is able to rejoin the team.

If all goes well with Monday's outing, Chen would make a five-inning rehab start for one of the team's minor league affiliates Saturday.

"If he's able to throw five, he's probably able to throw six or seven up here," Showalter said. "The way the schedule is set up he could get between one and two starts before the All-Star break. That's just [in the] very infant stage. There are a lot of bridges to cross."

Around the horn

Fans that bring their ticket stubs from the Orioles-Cleveland Indians series receive half-off admission to the Babe Ruth and Sports Legends Museum. ... The Orioles will host two Orange Rallies on Tuesday. Nate McLouth will appear at the Orange Rally at Modell's at 1959 East Joppa Road from 11 a.m. to noon. The other Orange Rally is set for the Orioles Fan Zone on Pratt & Light St. from 5-6:30 p.m. ... 3B Manny Machado hit his majors-leading 34th double of the season in the sixth inning Sunday. … RHP Steve Johnson (left oblique strain) came through the first step of his throwing progression well and will throw again Monday. … Top pitching prospect RHP Dylan Bundy is slated to throw a second session of two sets of 25 throws from 120 feet Monday, Showalter said. … Triple-A Norfolk LHP Tsuyoshi Wada allowed two runs on five hits over five innings Sunday. Over his past two starts, Wada is pitching to a 2.31 ERA. … Double-A Bowie knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Sunday and allowed just one hit over 7 1/3 innings in a 1-0 win over Altoona.

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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