Roberts leaves series finale in Tampa with hamstring injury

April 04, 2013 | Luke Jones

The good vibes of a 6-3 victory and a series win over the Tampa Bay Rays were dampened by a hamstring injury suffered by second baseman Brian Roberts on Thursday.

The 35-year-old injured his right leg as he stole second base in the ninth inning. Sliding headfirst into the base safely, Roberts immediately grabbed his right leg and had to be helped off the field.

“He felt something at the bottom of the hamstring. The [doctor] will look at it,” manager Buck Showalter told MASN following the game in St. Petersburg. “We’ve got an early read on it, but I think we’ll know a lot more [Friday]. He’s in some discomfort. It’s going to be a challenge right now.

Roberts is off to a 5-for-12 start in the first three games, including a double and one run batted in. Considered a major question mark entering spring training after having played only 115 games over the last three seasons, Roberts remained healthy all spring and began the season in the No. 9 spot in the order.

Utility infielder Alexi Casilla replaced Roberts in the ninth inning and would likely share duties at second base with Ryan Flaherty if Roberts is to be sidelined for any period of time. The two-time All-Star infielder will undergo an MRI on Friday.

Roberts returned to action last June after more than a year off while dealing with concussion-related symptoms. However, he played in only 17 games before suffering a season-ending hip injury and then underwent sports hernia surgery in the offseason.

Even if the veteran appears on his way to the disabled list, Showalter maintained an optimistic outlook while discussing his second baseman.

“I’m not going to live in that doom and gloom world,” Showalter said. “Just because the good Lord delays things doesn’t mean he denies them. He’s off to a good start and he’ll be back with us at some point and continue to contribute.”