BALTIMORE — Brian Roberts had to endure a tremendous amount of hardship waiting for the chance to contribute to a playoff run.
Now, finally, it all seems worth it.
Roberts hit a grand slam, Adam Jones homered and had three RBIs, and the Orioles beat the Athletics 9-7 Friday to gain ground in the AL wild-card race. Baltimore is two games behind Boston and Oakland in the chase.
Roberts, 35, has dealt with one injury after another, and could only watch last year as the Orioles made their first trip to the playoffs in 15 years.
This season, after more injuries, Roberts is finally playing the role he longed for.
"It's fun. This is what we all play for," he said. "You want to be in the race in August and September, and I haven't had a whole lot of opportunities to do that in my career."
Roberts and Jones connected in a six-run fourth inning that put Baltimore up 6-3. After Oakland rallied to take the lead, Jones drove in the go-ahead run during a three-run seventh.