Brian Roberts cleared to return to Orioles’ lineup

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Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts was shut down in the middle of March due to soreness in his back. For a guy with his recent injury history, it seemed likely that the soreness would linger right on into the start of the regular season.

Not so.

According to MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, Roberts is back in the Baltimore lineup Sunday for the O’s afternoon Grapefruit League matchup with the Rays.

He was able to take batting practice Friday and then again on Saturday. When he arrived at the ballpark Sunday morning with no abnormal pain or discomfort, the Orioles decided to clear him for action.

Roberts, 33, played in only 59 games last season and finished with an underwhelming .745 OPS in 230 at-bats. He’s hoping to bounce back with health on his side here in 2011.

Rich Hill has a perfect game through seven innings

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Dodgers starter Rich Hill is facing off against the Pirates in Pittsburgh tonight. And he’s not having any trouble with them: he’s absolutely perfect though seven innings. He’s needed 73 pitches to get that far, so if he can keep the perfection up he certainly has enough in the tank to finish it.

Thing is: he may not even get the win. That’s because Pirates starter Trevor Williams has blanked the Dodgers through eight, scattering seven hits and four walks yet, somehow, not allowing a run to score.

The Pirates are coming to bat in the bottom of the eighth. We’ll keep you posted.

Zach Britton’s consecutive saves streak has ended at 60

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On September 20, 2015, Zach Britton blew a save against the Rays. Little did he know that he wouldn’t blow another save until August 23, 2017, converting 60 consecutive save opportunities.

Britton took the mound with a 7-5 lead in the top of the ninth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Athletics. He yielded a single to Jed Lowrie, a double to Boog Powell, an RBI single to Marcus Semien, and a sacrifice fly to Matt Joyce to allow the A’s to close the two-run deficit. In the next at-bat, he uncorked a wild pitch and then walked Khris Davis before being removed from the game. Miguel Castro relieved Britton, but walked Ryon Healy on four pitches to load the bases. Castro wriggled out of the jam by getting Matt Olson to pop up and striking out Matt Chapman, stranding two of Britton’s runners.

Britton entered Wednesday’s action 11-for-11 in save chances on the season with a 2.88 ERA and a 19/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. He missed two months earlier this season with a strained left forearm.