With the season-ending injury to right fielder Nick Markakis on Saturday night, Buck Showalter had to “shuffle the cards” as he says.
And he sure did Sunday.
Left fielder Nate McLouth, who has batted primarily third in the last month, will be moved up the leadoff spot. He’s done that nearly 300 times in his career and compiled a .340 on-base percentage in those games.
“I like it,” McLouth said of batting leadoff. “I know what type of hitter and what type of player I am. So I’m not going to change my approach in the way I go about things. I’m just trying to put the ball in play and take advantage of whatever situation presents itself.”
Davis, who has been relegated to DH with the emergence of McLouth, Manny Machado and Mark Reynolds' improvement at first, is now back in right field today – where he played 17 games (15 starts) while Markakis was on the disabled list in June and July.
He has struggled some in the outfield – and at the plate while playing outfield. But Davis said he is ready for the chance.
“I went out there earlier today to take fly balls (three hours before game time),” Davis said. “I feel good. My legs feel good. I’ve had plenty of rest, I’ve played probably half the games these guys have because I’ve been DH’ing, so hopefully that will help.”
Betemit basically lost his job to Machado, but now he may be thrust more into the designated hitter role.
“I know I haven’t had a lot of playing time, but I know those guys were doing great,” Betemit said. “I have to wait for my time and now today I have an opportunity to play and I am going to play my best.”
Here’s the Orioles lineup for today:
McLouth 7, Hardy 6, Betemit DH, Jones 8, Wieters 2, Reynolds 3, Davis 9, Machado 5, Andino 4. Britton 1.