Not many sights in baseball more welcome last night than seeing Brian Roberts back in a major league lineup. The Orioles’ second baseman, sidelined for 13 months due to a concussion, made his return and went 3 for 4 with a sac fly.
The crowd gave him a standing ovation. And he was clearly emotional about it all after the game:
“I actually got a little more emotional than I thought I was going to. It took me a second to gather myself. It was very special and much appreciated, that’s for sure. Everyone has been so good to me here in my career, the fans have been so great and supportive of me the whole time. That was very special … I’m just so grateful. I sometimes don’t have words right now for what I’ve been through and where we are now. I’m humbled and grateful to have the opportunity.”
Maybe it’s irrational, but it’s so much harder to see a guy lose extended time to a concussion than it is to, say, a leg or arm injury. I’m not sure why that is. Either way, it’s so nice to see Roberts back.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.