Off DL, Roberts back in lineup

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

O's went 8-13 without All-Star

Rogers is sent back to Triple-A

May 25, 2006|By JEFF ZREBIEC | JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER

SEATTLE -- All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts delivered the words yesterday that Sam Perlozzo had been waiting to hear, telling the Orioles manager he was ready to come off the disabled list.

Roberts, hitting .330 with no home runs and 13 RBIs, was activated before last night's game against the Seattle Mariners, batted leadoff and played second base. He went 1-for-4 with a walk and scored a run.

To make room for Roberts, who had been out since straining his groin April 29, the Orioles optioned infielder Ed Rogers back to Triple-A Ottawa.

"It will be a relief when it's over and I feel good, hopefully," Roberts said. "I am just tired of sitting and watching this. It's no fun. ... You can't kill yourself the first day, but I'll try to play the way I always do."

Perlozzo said last night's game was a big hurdle that Roberts needed to get over.

"If we can get through [last night] in good standing with him where he looks more like himself and you get a little confidence, then I'll be really happy," Perlozzo said. "There's always that apprehension that I'm sure he has. I have the same. It's good to see him out there, though. It's good to write his name in the lineup."

Without Roberts, the Orioles used six different leadoff hitters, who combined to go 20-for-96 (.208) with nine runs and five walks in 21 games. The Orioles were 8-13 with Roberts on the disabled list.

"If your team is struggling, you're feeling like you can help and you want to be out there," Roberts said. "I just miss being on the field and being part of the game."

Gibbons might play today

Mourning his mother, who died unexpectedly Tuesday, outfielder Jay Gibbons remained with the Orioles and was in uniform but not in the lineup last night.

Perlozzo said Gibbons likely will not be put on the bereavement list and could play today.

"I think he's going to be with us until Sunday," Perlozzo said. "He's going to miss Sunday - and, of course, we're off Monday - and join us again on Tuesday. Obviously, he needed to get out of the hotel room and try to take his mind off what happened."

Said Roberts: "He's doing as well as he can be. He was pretty down, struggling, but he sounded better today."

Halama to get another shot?

Perlozzo said he is leaning toward starting John Halama, who pitched five solid innings to get the win Tuesday night, against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, rather than going with rookie Adam Loewen.

Loewen, 22, had a shaky major league debut in relief of Halama on Tuesday, going one-third of an inning while giving up a walk, allowing an RBI single and hitting a batter.

"For this time, we'll see if Adam can't back up Rodrigo [Lopez] and [Bruce] Chen, and see what happens," Perlozzo said. "After Sunday, we'll make another decision. I can't say [Loewen] did anything to hurt his cause. I don't think it's based so much on his performance as it was [that] John pitched pretty good."

Halama said he hoped to get another start, and possibly "finish off the season in the rotation." Meanwhile, Loewen, who pitched in front of 22 family and friends, acknowledged that he was affected by nerves.

"It's good to get the first one out of the way," Loewen said. "Hopefully, I won't have those jitters the next time."

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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