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Feeling healthy, Roberts gearing up for regular season

Feeling healthy, Roberts gearing up for regular season

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Brian Roberts played in his first road game of the Grapefruit League season on Tuesday, and the Orioles' second baseman has another first coming up: playing in three consecutive games.

Baltimore returns home for the next two days, against Toronto on Wednesday and then Pittsburgh on Thursday.

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"He knows this last two weeks is going to be a pretty good test for him, but so far he feels good," manager Buck Showalter."None of us do all the things [we could] 10 years ago, but … he's running well, he's got a lot of things behind him that were a challenge. I think he's in a good mental state of mind."

Roberts went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in the Orioles' 8-7 win over the Red Sox. Roberts didn't take the bus down -- "Let's not get crazy," he joked -- but the 35-year-old doesn't mind being on the road during Spring Training. You get to the park, you get on the field and you get out.

"Nate [McLouth] and I rode down together," Roberts said. "Had a good time talking about the game and talking about life. You get to do something that you don't always get to do when you're at home."

Roberts, who has dealt with concussions in the past, swiped a pair of bags Tuesday, one standing and one headfirst. He hopes more of his steals are of the standing variety.

"I think today was a great step," said Roberts. "I felt really good, I felt confident in getting on the bases and running and being aggressive. I think my mindset has continued to get better and better every day. ... The speed of the game is starting to come back and staring to slow everything down more."

Showalter pointed out that while Roberts isn't as young as he once was, the time he missed isn't a total waste. Some of the wear and tear a regular 35-year-old might have on the rest of his body, Roberts might have been able to save himself. He's been itching to play all spring.

"I think he would have played all 30 something games here if we let him," Showalter said.

As long as Roberts is able to play, he believes his power and his regular numbers will accompany him. It's just a matter of staying on the field.

"I think if I get 600 at-bats, I'll do the same things that I always did," said Roberts.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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