ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles manager Dave Trembley said he never doubted that his Opening Day lineup card would have Brian Roberts' name at the top.

"[I] was confident he was going to be ready," Trembley said. "He told me he would be."

Still, seeing Roberts' name etched in the leadoff spot for Tuesday night's Rays-Orioles season-opening contest provided a welcome sign of relief.

"Everyone feels good when they see his name in the lineup," hitting coach Terry Crowley said of Roberts, whose spring debut was delayed until March 26 because of a herniated disc in his lower back. "You know if he gets on base, he gives you hope that you can make something happen.

"I feel good when I see his name in the lineup."

Roberts hit .211 with two doubles in 19 spring at-bats, and Crowley estimated that the second baseman's hitting is right where it should be for this time of year.

"He's played for an awful long time -- [he] knows what he needs to do to get ready," Trembley said. "You saw how he played toward the end of camp -- he gives you what he's got. We need that."

Brooks, Boog to be part of home opener

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Orioles' pregame festivities for Friday night's home opener at Camden Yards will be headlined by a pair of ceremonial first pitches tossed by former Baltimore greats Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell.

This year marks the Orioles' 40th anniversary of their 1970 World Series championship, with Robinson the World Series MVP and Powell the American League MVP.

Opera tenor Richard Troxell will sing the national anthem in his seventh Opening Day performance. Troxell is a Thurmont, Md., native.

Fans attending the sold-out game will receive a schedule/car magnet and are encouraged to be in their seat by 2:30 p.m. ET, when pregame festivities start.

Right-hander Brad Bergesen will get the start in a 3:05 p.m. matchup against the Blue Jays. The 24-year-old Bergesen is on his first Opening Day roster.

Seven players experience first Opening Day

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tuesday's game marked the first Major League Opening Day for Orioles pitchers Brad Bergesen, Jason Berken, Brian Matusz and David Hernandez, catchers Matt Wieters and Craig Tatum and outfielder Nolan Reimold. Oddly enough, all seven already made their respective big league debuts in 2009.

"It says a lot about the direction the organization is going," manager Dave Trembley said of this year's 25-man roster, which has just 11 returning players from 2009's season opener.

"It's a new page and a new direction for the franchise. It's going to be guys that come up through the system, it's going to be guys that all play together and come up together and move up together and have long careers together. I think it's the way to go and the only way you can be successful."

Wieters was the lone player in Tuesday night's starting lineup against the Rays, but Matusz, Bergesen and Hernandez will each make their respective season debuts on the mound starting Thursday.