SARASOTA, Fla. -- Second baseman Brian Roberts hit his first home run in a game in almost two years, and he also had a pair of singles in the Orioles’ 6-5 victory over the Pirates on Friday. He pulled a ball over the right-field fence in the first inning and sprayed the two other hits to left field to finish 3-for-3. And he was very upbeat about it.
“Every day is a fun day on the field,’’ Roberts said. “I’ve spent too many days in the training room, so baseball is always fun when you can get out and play. It’s definitely been good so far.”
Roberts used the whole field and looked like the versatile hitter who was one of baseball’s best leadoff men before a pair of concussions and several other injuries limited him to just 115 games over the past three seasons.
“That’s always definitely a positive sign for most guys, but definitely for me,’’ he said. “I’ve always been a guy who can hurt somebody [on pitches inside], but also can take my hits the other way. I guess that was a prime example for me today.”
Though it’s just the first week of the exhibition season, Roberts did not play down the significance of the home run, which was his first in a game against major league competition since April 13, 2011.
“I think everything from my standpoint right now is confidence-builders,’’ Roberts said. “To know your bat speed is still there, that you can still do things you used to be able to do when you haven’t played in a little while. So, it’s not necessarily all result-driven by any means, but certainly, to be able to square balls up consistently and drive balls, I think so far that’s been a positive.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times