Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 12, 2005; Page D08
NEW YORK, April 11 -- The recent home run binge by Brian Roberts has even the Baltimore Orioles second baseman confused.
Roberts hit his third home run of the year in Sunday's 7-2 win against the New York Yankees. All three were hit from the left side, his natural hitting side.
_____ Baseball '05 _____
• It will be tough for the Orioles- Nationals matchup to join the ranks of great baseball rivalries. • A closer look at the Nationals' rivals in the NL East. • Thomas Boswell: The old rivalry between Washington and Baltimore should not take long to heat up. • The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is the best in sports and only figures to get more intense this season. • A timeline of the Red Sox and Yankees' shared history. • Many teams have laid claim to being the top rival of the Yankees. • Started in New York City and continued in California, the Giants- Dodgers rivalry is one for the ages. • Baseball Preview Section
Last season, Roberts hit just three home runs and his best season was 2003, when he hit five.
"I have no idea," said Roberts, who is on pace to hit 81 home runs.
"I think that's where I'll end up," he joked.
Aiming at 40
Right fielder Sammy Sosa, 36, told the Dominican Republic newspaper El Caribe that he plans to retire before his 40th birthday.
"I won't make it past 40," he told the newspaper.
Sosa said he would retire even though he might not have 700 career home runs.
"If I reach it good, if not, amen," he said.
Sosa, signed to just a one-year deal with Baltimore, has yet to record his first home run or RBI as an Oriole. When he gets an RBI it will be his first in the American League since Sept. 9, 1991, when he was a member of the Chicago White Sox. His last AL home run was on Sept. 8 of that year. . . .
Chicago Cubs second baseman Todd Walker's left anterior cruciate ligament injury places former Oriole Jerry Hairston as the regular second baseman. To replace Walker on the roster, the Cubs called up Mike Fontenot from Class AAA Iowa. Fontenot and Hairston were the principal players involved when Baltimore traded for Sosa. . . .
Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano, who was struck in the head by a line drive on Sunday by Melvin Mora, has been cleared to make his start on Friday against the Orioles in Baltimore.