Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis slammed a ball off the second-deck facade in right field at Nationals Park to carry the Orioles to a 2-1 victory in 11 innings on Friday night. It was his seventh home run of the season and second extra-base hit of the game.
"Slider down and in, I'm pretty sure that's what it was,'' Markakis said. "I wasn't looking to do too much. I wasn't expecting that. I was just trying to have a good at-bat. Put a good swing on it. It went out of the park and we ended up winning the game."
Markakis doubled in the first inning to set up the first run of the game and broke a 1-1 tie in the 11th against Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus. The Orioles brought on reliever Pedro Strop, who allowed a couple of baserunners, but held on to record his third save in three tries. Kevin Gregg got the victory for his seventh consecutive scoreless outing.
"It just all around,'' Markakis said. "Guys are getting hits when we need them. Our bullpen, you know, what can you say about them, they're doing a great job. It's a battle...a battle all game until it's over."
The extra-inning victory was the sixth straight for the Orioles, who have now taken eight of their first 40 games into overtime. Their 26 wins are the most in the major leagues at the season's quarter pole. But, even after so many years of frustration, Markakis said he is not amazed by his team's surprising success this season.
"I wouldn't say amazing,'' he said. "I know what all these guys in this lockerroom are about. It's going to take a lot to put us down. We keep getting up and battling and having great at-bats. I go back to our bullpen, probably one of the best bullpens in baseball. You've got to give them credit especially in these late extra-inning games they've been keeping us in the game and allowing us to get back in there and score some runs. From top to bottom, it's a team effort, and I think we're showing that."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun