Roberts responds with his bat

After Trembley talk, Roberts delivers

ANAHEIM -- Brian Roberts got the message. Baltimore manager Dave Trembley spoke frankly Sunday about a meeting he'd had with his second baseman earlier in the weekend, and then he watched as Roberts broke out. The switch-hitter bashed a home run in the first inning, and then he doubled in two runs and stole a base in the third.

All of a sudden, Roberts was playing with all the passion that Trembley wanted to see, and the Orioles can only hope he keeps it up as they head to Seattle to play their final road series before the All-Star break.

"He hasn't played up to his expectations on a consistent basis, and I think that's bothering him," said Trembley. "I think he's searching for an answer for that. I think he feels like he's let some factors get to him and affect the way he's played. He told me the other day that he accepts responsibility for that. He felt like he let me down, let his teammates down. I told him all he can do is go forward. You've got to put the past behind you and you've got to go forward."

Trembley had that talk with Roberts before Saturday's game, but it didn't have an immediate effect. Roberts and the Orioles played through an uninspired game Saturday night that featured several misplays, including an error by the second baseman on a fielder's choice and a popup that fell between him and right fielder Nick Markakis.

But that was ancient history on Sunday, when Roberts hit a leadoff home run for the first time since last April. That shot also represented his first home run as a right-handed hitter since last July. Perhaps even more importantly, it may have signaled to Trembley that Roberts is ready to take on some extra responsibilities.

"Whether he wants to or not believe it," said Trembley, further divulging the details of their private conversation, "he should be the guy that sets the example and sets the tone for this team. All the time. And that's the responsibility that he has. I think he understands that. He told me that we'll all see a new and better approach from him."

And even before they had their private chat, Trembley sent a subtle message to Roberts. The manager said he spoke to his team about effort and mental preparation last week, foreshadowing his meeting with Roberts.

"I told Roberts, you're one of the guys I was speaking directly to. And he knows that," Trembley said. "I just know he can play better, and he shouldn't be so affected by making an out or not getting a hit. He can bring so much more to the game, to the team, to a lot of other things. That's what we want from him.

"Just play hard. That's all. Just play hard all the time, play with passion, have an emotion for what you're doing."

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Brad Bergesen (5-2, 3.53 ERA)
Bergesen continued his string of impressive starts, throwing eight innings and giving up just one earned run to pick up his sixth win of the season last time out. He shut down a powerful Red Sox lineup, striking out six batters on 103 pitches. Despite the strong outing, however, the Orioles bullpen gave up a four-run ninth, leaving Bergesen with the no-decision.

SEA: LHP Jarrod Washburn (4-6, 3.36 ERA)
It was back to the norm last time out for Washburn, who has received the least amount of run support of any starting pitcher in the American League. He held the Yankees to four runs in his last start but received just two runs of support and sustained his 105th career loss. Washburn allowed three home runs, the second time in 15 starts this season he surrendered more than one circuit clout in a game and the first hat trick.

Bird bites
The Orioles gave up a season-high eight walks Sunday, and four of them came around to score. ... Baltimore has lost six of its last seven road games and has a 12-26 record away from home this season, which stands as the worst mark in the American League. ... The Orioles took 4-0 leads in each of the last two games and lost both of them. ... Matt Wieters walked, singled twice and hit a solo home run. The rookie backstop is batting .333 (22-for-66) with seven multihit games in his last 18 starts. ... The Orioles are 24-19 when they score first and 12-27 when their opponent draws first blood.

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Up next
• Tuesday: Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 6-8, 5.20) at Mariners (Erik Bedard, 5-2, 2.47), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Orioles (David Hernandez, 2-2, 4.15) at Mariners (Felix Hernandez, 8-3, 2.62), 4:40 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.