BOWIE, Md. - Instead of wearing a Baysox helmet, Bowie's first hitter of the game stepped in the batter's box donning the headgear of major league affiliate Baltimore on Friday against the Curve.
The hitter was second baseman Brian Roberts, who is currently on a rehab assignment with the Baysox while working his way back to the big leagues. And his helmet is just one way the Orioles' presence will be felt against Altoona, as Roberts is one of four players on rehab assignments in Bowie this weekend.
Roberts was 0-for-1 with an RBI in the Curve's 5-3 win over Bowie at Prince George's Stadium, and he will be joined by fellow rehabbing major leaguers Mark Reynolds, Zach Britton and Endy Chavez tonight. That's the most major league rehabbing players the Curve have ever faced in one game.
Britton will get the start on the mound against the Curve, and neither he nor Roberts has appeared in a game yet for the Orioles in 2012.
Britton, who is recovering from a shoulder injury, was 11-11 with a 4.61 ERA for Baltimore last season. Roberts, a two-time All-Star, hasn't played in a major league game in more than a year due to multiple concussions.
Meanwhile, third baseman Reynolds and outfielder Chavez each played for the Orioles earlier this season. Reynolds and Chavez were both struggling before landing on the disabled list, hitting .191 and .133, respectively.
Tonight: Altoona at Bowie, 6:35 p.m.
Pitching matchups: Curve LHP Nathan Baker (3-4, 4.70) vs. Baysox LHP Zach Britton (On rehab from Orioles)
Though he's not on a rehab assignment, Josh Barfield is another name people may recognize on Bowie's roster. Barfield played for the Padres and Indians from 2006-09, but he's floated around the minors ever since.
With all the major league names surrounding the series, the Curve ended up facing a pitcher without a Double-A start to his name Friday in Mike Wright. The Curve didn't give Wright a friendly welcome to the Eastern League, scoring two runs in both the first and second innings.
Robbie Grossman led off the game with one of his two doubles, scored twice and drove in a run.
Right-hander Tim Alderson started for Altoona, and though he struggled with his command - four walks in 4 innings - he kept the team's lead safe and allowed three runs on five hits.
Mike Colla (1-4) came out of the bullpen and threw 2 scoreless innings to pick up a win, and Kris Harvey pitched the eighth and ninth to earn his first save.
Key player: CF Robbie Grossman was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI.
Key play: 3B Jeremy Farrell hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to extend the Curve's lead to 5-3.
Key stat: The Curve are 9-2 in their last 11 games.
How they scored
Top 1st: Grossman doubled, scored on Holt single (1-0); Curry single scored Holt (2-0).
Top 2nd: Latimore doubled, scored on Grossman double (3-0); Cunningham singled scored Grossman (4-0).
Bottom 2nd: Joseph doubled, scored on Roberts sacrifice fly (4-1).
Bottom 3rd: Wheeler doubled, scored on Schoop groundout (4-2).
Bottom 5th: Machado walked, scored on Barfield single (4-3).
Top 6th: Farrell solo homer (5-3).