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.

Félix Hernández passes Don Drysdale on all-time strikeouts leaderboard

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Mariners starter Félix Hernández pitched well enough for a win on Wednesday afternoon, but Padres starter Chris Paddack was just a little bit better. Hernández allowed one run on three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in the Mariners’ 1-0 loss. Paddack tossed seven scoreless innings on one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts.

With eight strikeouts on the day, Hernández passed Don Drysdale to move into 36th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time strikeouts leaderboard at 2,488. Max Scherzer currently sits in 35th place at 2,493. Christy Mathewson is Hernández’s next target at 2,507.

On the season, Hernández is now 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA and a 21/3 K/BB ratio across 25 1/3 innings. The 33-year-old had a rough 2017 and ’18, but the first-place Mariners are hoping he has something left in the tank. Hernández is earning $27 million this season and can become a free agent after the season.