Roberts on verge of setting record

Roberts on verge of setting record

TORONTO -- On any given night, Brian Roberts might make history. Baltimore's second baseman already has surpassed his own franchise record for doubles, and he tied the league record for two-baggers by a switch-hitter (55) on Tuesday night. With one more, he'll pass Lance Berkman to set an all-time record.

"It's like I've said the whole time: It's something that one day I'm sure I'll look back on and try to cherish," Roberts said Tuesday night. "You do kind of look at the history of the game and all the great switch-hitters that have played this game. It's something that I certainly never would've thought I'd be in that category. I mean, I didn't break Barry Bonds' homer record or anything, but you've got to take what you do and look at it in perspective."

In this case, Roberts has left plenty of room. The leadoff man already is one of just four all-time players -- along with Hall of Famers Tris Speaker, Paul Waner and Stan Musial -- to have three 50-double seasons. And he's five away from tying the all-time record for doubles by a second baseman, which was set all the way back in 1936.

But Berkman sits next in Roberts' sights, and Toronto starter Scott Richmond could be the one to help him over the hump. Roberts came close to nabbing a second double on Tuesday night, but his own speed got in the way. Roberts wound up eluding a tag and over-sliding second base, giving the Blue Jays a second chance to get him out.

"I was safe to begin with. I just over-slid the bag," he said. "It's kind of like stealing second and you're safe, but you over-slide. It wasn't a bad decision, but you just didn't make a very good slide. I told [hitting coach Terry Crowley] that was probably the closest I've had all year, and I guess I had more speed built up than I thought."

The Orioles have dropped back-to-back games to Toronto, falling a season-worst 31 games under .500. They can salvage the series -- and the first leg of their three-city road trip -- by coming out on top in the series finale. Jeremy Guthrie will get the ball for Baltimore, and he'll hope to better his career 3.07 ERA against Toronto.

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-15, 5.05 ERA)
Guthrie ran up a high pitch count in his previous start, but he still survived. The right-hander worked into the sixth inning, establishing a new season-high pitch count (114). Guthrie, Baltimore's Opening Day starter in each of the past two seasons, has allowed more home runs (31) and more earned runs (106) than any other American League starter.

TOR: RHP Scott Richmond (6-10, 5.31 ERA)
Richmond is 0-5 with an 8.92 ERA in eight starts since returning from the disabled list, where he spent a month with a sore right shoulder. The Blue Jays have lost seven of those games. He lasted two innings against the Rays in his previous outing, allowing five runs on seven hits. Richmond has given up 22 runs in 17 1/3 innings over his past four starts.

Bird bites
The Orioles were 49-4 when leading after seven innings before Tuesday night's late collapse. ... Baltimore has 35 outfield assists, a total that leads the American League. ... The Orioles lost their sixth straight game on Tuesday night to tie their longest skid of the season. ... Baltimore is 4-7 in extra-inning games this season. ... Matt Wieters has batted safely in 14 of his past 18 games and is hitting .358 (24-for-67) in September. The backstop recently moved up to the No. 3 slot in the lineup and has gone 10-for-18 with two RBIs in four games. ... The Orioles are 48-14 when they outhit their opponents and 54-36 when they score at least four runs. By contrast, Baltimore is 8-69 when it gets outhit by the opposition and 6-55 when it scores fewer than four runs. ... The Orioles are 39-34 when they score first.

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
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On radio
• 105.7 The Fan

Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Orioles (David Hernandez, 4-8, 5.34) at Indians (Fausto Carmona, 3-12, 6.89), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Orioles (Jason Berken, 5-12, 6.41) at Indians (David Huff, 10-8, 5.98), 7:05 p.m. ET

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