BALTIMORE (AP) — Brian Roberts returned from a 13-month layoff to get three hits and an RBI, and the Baltimore Orioles homered three times in an 8-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
Activated from the 60-day disabled list before the game, Roberts went 3 for 4 with a sacrifice fly. Playing in the majors for the first time since sustaining a concussion on May 16, 2011, Baltimore’s longtime leadoff hitter received a standing ovation from the crowd of 15,618 in the bottom of the first inning before lining a single up the middle.
The two-time All-Star second baseman also singled in the fourth and eighth, giving him his fifth three-hit game since the start of the 2010 season.
Adam Jones had four hits, including a homer, and Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis also connected for the Orioles. Jones is 14 for 33 (.424) in interleague play this year.
Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen (6-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. The Taiwan native improved to 4-0 at Camden Yards and moved into a tie with Jason Hammel for the team lead in wins.
After Neil Walker hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Kevin Gregg, Jim Johnson got two outs for his 19th save.
Casey McGehee also homered for the Pirates, whose four-game winning streak ended. Pittsburgh, which fell out of a first-place tie with Cincinnati in the NL Central, had won its previous six series openers.
Brad Lincoln (3-2) gave up four runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He has allowed nine earned runs and 15 hits in his last two starts.
Baltimore took advantage of two errant throws in a four-run sixth that made it 8-2. After errors by shortstop Clint Barnes and pitcher Chris Resop, Roberts hit a sacrifice fly and J.J. Hardy singled in a run before Davis hit a two-run drive.
Pittsburgh closed to 8-4 in the seventh. Andrew McCutchen drove in a run with a groundout and McGehee greeted Luis Ayala with a sacrifice fly.
By then, however, the Orioles already had enough runs to up their record in interleague play to 5-2. They were 7-11 last year.
Pittsburgh got a first-inning run when Matt Hague ended a 1-for-17 skid with an RBI single.
Baltimore went up 2-1 in the second when Jones doubled ahead of Reynolds’ fourth homer of the season — all in his last 20 games.
After Jones singled in a run in the third, Baltimore left the bases loaded. The Orioles also stranded runners at the corners in the fourth.
Jones hit his 18th homer in the fifth to chase Lincoln, and McGehee hit a solo shot in the sixth to make it 4-2.
NOTES: Baltimore OF Endy Chavez left in the sixth inning with a right hamstring strain. … Pittsburgh needs to win the next two games to earn a sixth straight series win for the first time since 1992. … Baltimore optioned INF Steve Tolleson to Triple-A Norfolk and transferred OF Nolan Reimold (back) to the 60-day DL. … Orioles LHP Brian Matusz was practicing bunting Tuesday when he fouled a ball off his nose. It was only a bruise, and he is expected to make his start Wednesday. Pittsburgh will send Kevin Correia to the mound.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)