NEW YORK - -Before his major league debut last week, Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold talked with teammate Lou Montanez about the possibility of hitting a home run in his first major league at-bat, a feat Montanez accomplished last season against the Los Angeles Angels.
Reimold was unable to do that, but his first major league homer proved significant nonetheless. When Reimold sent Mariano Rivera's cut fastball over the center field wall and off the netting that protects Monument Park in the ninth inning of the Orioles' 11-4 loss Wednesday, he became the first player to hit his first career home run off Rivera during his distinguished career.
"I was like, 'This is my one shot to get in the history books,' " Reimold said about the potential of homering in his first career at-bat. "I guess we can say I did that, though, which is pretty nice. ... It came at an insignificant time in the game, really, but it still is pretty special to hit my first home run at new Yankee Stadium off of a Hall of Fame pitcher. It's something I'll obviously remember for the rest of my life."
Reimold almost didn't get the opportunity to face the New York Yankees closer, who came on and got the final out in the top of the eighth inning in what was then a two-run game. However, the Yankees scored six times in the bottom of the eighth, and New York manager Joe Girardi could have removed his closer from the game. Reimold is glad he didn't.
"I actually did kind of want to face him," said Reimold, who entered Thursday's series finale with a .261 average and three RBIs in six games. "I've watched him for so many years on TV. I wanted to stand in the box and see what it's like."
Roberts on move
Orioles leadoff man Brian Roberts has long considered himself a streaky base stealer, but his latest stretch is unusual even by his standards. Roberts entered Thursday with six steals over the past seven games. That follows a stretch in which Roberts stole just one base in 26 games, including going 18 contests without a steal. He has 10 steals this season.
"It's no different than hitting," said Roberts, who was thrown out in a failed hit-and-run Wednesday. "Baseball is a game of streaks that plays out over the course of 162 games. I'm not making more of a conscious effort. I've just had chances where I had the opportunity to run more. A lot of things have to match up to have the opportunity."
Long before many of his teammates had even gotten to Yankee Stadium, Orioles pitcher Koji Uehara made a visit to Monument Park for the first time. Uehara took several pictures, including one of him standing next to the monument honoring Babe Ruth.
Around the horn
Shortstop Cesar Izturis, who has missed three straight games with a strained left groin, ran and did baseball activities Thursday, meaning that he could return to the lineup Friday. ... Nick Markakis and his wife, Christina, will announce the establishment of their foundation Tuesday in a news conference at Camden Yards. ... First baseman Aubrey Huff will sign autographs and answer fan questions Tuesday at noon at the ESPN Zone in the Inner Harbor. ... The three consecutive homers Jeremy Guthrie allowed Wednesday marked the first time that has happened to the Orioles since April 20, 1992, when Detroit Tigers' Alan Trammell, Cecil Fielder and Mickey Tettleton did it.