ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As the
Veteran second baseman
"Obviously, they could have easily gone out and tried to fill spots that haven't been necessarily occupied every day in the last year or two," said Roberts, whose season ended last year on July 1 and who had hip surgery in August. "And they held tight and they believed in us as players, and I think that is encouraging."
In Tuesday's season-opening 7-4 win against the
"It was fun," said Roberts, who had played in just 115 games over the past three seasons because of myriad injuries including multiple concussions. "Not that you forget how fun baseball was, but when you are out for such a long period of time, sometimes you forget what the atmosphere and the energy is like and just the joy of playing the game. So it was great."
Reimold batted .313 with five homers in his first 16 games last April, but he was shut down with a neck injury that required career-threatening surgery. The 29-year-old worked all offseason to be ready for Tuesday.
"It feels really good. It's been a long road, but it feels normal," Reimold said. "It was definitely an exciting Opening Day for me since, all things considered, going through the long offseason, and a lot of the rehab that it took for me to be out there."
Things could have been dicey early for Reimold. The Rays' first hitter of the first inning,
"I know, right? The first out of the game, I got tested real quick," he said. "Good thing I got it."
Even though their contributions were minimal, the presence of Roberts and Reimold wasn't lost on their teammates.
"I think it's huge," first baseman
"You take it in. You know they're going to have a pretty good night tonight," Showalter said. "When you've been away from the game like Brian and, really, Nolan for a full season, you don't take anything for granted."
Machado joins impressive list
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, 20, joined an elite group of Orioles players to start an Opening Day game at age 20 or younger. Others include
The first pitch of the Orioles' and Rays' 2013 season came at 3:13 p.m. from lefty
Around the horn
Baltimore Sun reporter Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this article.