BALTIMORE -- Veteran infielder Brian Roberts is no stranger to the leadoff spot, although Monday's series opener against the Rays marked the first time this season he hit atop the Orioles' order.
"It fits us tonight with [Rays ace] David Price, trying to space out the left-handers a little bit," manager Buck Showalter said. "We think that's an important spot. Every spot is. We've seen what Robby has brought from the bottom of the order and probably will again."
Roberts entered Monday's game on a roll, hitting safely in six of seven games with two doubles, a triple and seven RBIs. And although he went 0-for-5 against Price, he's hitting .265 on the season and has started showing signs of being the Roberts of old.
"I think the game has started to slow down again," Roberts said of his recent surge. "I've made some adjustments, and that's kind of the way the season goes for everybody.
"When you've been out for three months, you've got to go through a mini-Spring Training almost. It's unfortunate that's the way it is."
Perhaps even more so for Roberts, who hasn't played a full season since 2009 and needed some time to get readjusted and feel comfortable at the plate. He has consecutive multi-RBI games for the first time since April 2011.
He's also happy hitting ninth, his predominant spot since his return.
"I'm not trying to be something that I'm not. I'm not trying to be who I was at 25," he said when asked if hitting leadoff would mean he'd try to run more.
"You adapt to who you are as you move forward, but I think in some ways I'm back to where I used to be [more] than I had been in a long time, and that's fun."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.