Roberts finding success in clutch spots

Roberts finding success in clutch spots

PHILADELPHIA -- Brian Roberts could get used to these late-inning game-winning heroics.

"There are worse things you could have to get used to,'' said Roberts, after his RBI single in the eighth inning Sunday pushed the Orioles to a 2-1 win, a sweep of the Phillies and their seventh win in the past eight games.

Roberts also scored the Orioles' first run, which tied the game in the sixth. On Saturday, Roberts delivered a two-run homer in the ninth to help the O's win, 6-5.

Hitting .347 with a .407 on-base percentage since June 8, he's driven in 12 runs in his past 12 games and has led the way in the Orioles' recent resurgence.

"He's so important to us,'' manager Dave Trembley said.

"We're playing good baseball,'' Roberts said. "I don't think anybody is ready to declare that we're there, we're where we want to be. But we're moving in the right direction."

Perhaps most importantly, given all the young players in Baltimore's clubhouse, the players are laying the groundwork for the future.

"It's important to let these young guys get this experience -- and experience winning,'' Roberts said. "You don't want to have a situation where young players come up and the only experience they get is losing. There's a difference."

Ty Wigginton, who had two hits Sunday and is 10-for-20 in his past five games, echoed that sentiment. The Orioles might still be trailing in their division, but there is value to the way the team is playing and winning games.

"More than anything, in a situation like ours, you want to instill that every single day you're going out there to win the ballgame,'' Wigginton said. "In a lot of places, when you're losing, you get into a mind-set of just going out and playing hard. It's all about winning; that's what the Major Leagues is. Everything else doesn't matter.

"The sooner you instill that, the better the younger players are going to be, and the better your organization is going to be as well."

Kevin Roberts is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.