Orioles right fielder Nick Markakismissed his first game of the season Wednesday night, forced to watch his team's series finale against the Toronto Blue Jaysfrom the dugout with his right hand and wrist wrapped tightly.
The extent of Markakis' injury, which occurred on the second-to-last swing of his final at-bat in the Orioles' 8-6 loss to Toronto on Tuesday night, will be known Thursday , when Markakis is scheduled to have an MRI and see a hand specialist in Tampa, Fla.
Markakis, who has missed just 10 total games over the past five seasons, is one of the most durable players in the game, but he knew early Wednesday he wouldn't be able to play.
"When I woke up this morning, I knew I had no chance," Markakis said. "It was just swollen and it didn't feel right, and I couldn't pick up a bat or anything. We'll see what tomorrow brings and go from there.
"It's not like I took awkward swing or anything," he said. "It's just, I don't know, I swung and it didn't feel right. I knew right away. I don't know anything else. I don't know what's wrong with it. I just swung, and it didn't feel good. I'm still feeling a good amount of pain, so we'll see tomorrow.
Markakis said he hasn't had any previous issues with his right wrist or hand, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Markakis mentioned sliding into second base seven to 10 days and having pain in the same area, but it went away without any other trouble.
"He really didn't tell anybody about it, which isn't unusual for Nick," Showalter said. "That's the only thing in the same area. We're hoping for the best. We'll see what tomorrow bring."
Markakis had played in all 50 games this season, — 48 in right field and two as designated hitter. Markakis last missed a game Sept. 25, 2011.
Without Markakis in the No. 3 spot, Orioles DH Chris Davis took over the three-hole and Ryan Flaherty started in right field.
"You look at it as an opportunity for someone else," Showalter said. "We've had to move things around. We've had to do a lot of that this year. So have a lot of other clubs. It's part of it. It's not something you dwell on, and it's not 'woe is me.' You look at it as a chance to be a separator for someone coming in to come in and elevate their game and cover for Nick not being here. "
Markakis, a 2011 Gold Glove winner, is hitting .256 with a .333 on-base percentage and .452 slugging percentage; he has eight homers and 26 RBIs in 50 games, along with two outfield assists.
Britton to make second rehab start Thursday
Left-hander Zach Britton will make his second minor league rehab start Thursday for Double-A Bowie at Akron.
The Orioles could activate him afterward, but Showalter said optioning Britton to Triple-A Norfolk is a possibility.
Britton, recovering from left shoulder impingement, allowed two runs (none earned) on three hits over five innings, striking out six and walking two in his first rehab assignment.
"I just want to see him continue to make the progress he's making healthwise and stuffwise," Showalter said. "He did some good things next time out and some things he should get better at as it progresses."
Gonzalez with memorable debut
Despite some early jitters, Orioles rookie right-hander Miguel Gonzalez did well in his major league debut, entering Tuesday's game in relief with two on and one out in the fifth inning.
After striking out the first batter, J.P. Arencibia, Gonzalez gave up three consecutive singles but settled down, allowing just one more hit over the next three innings, striking out a total of five Toronto batters.
Gonzalez's effort prevented further damage to the Orioles' bullpen, which has had to pick up the slack in back-to-back starts of fewer than five innings.
"After that first inning, I think I did pretty well," Gonzalez said. "I think I did a good job. I'm happy with my first performance."
Around the horn
Showalter reported more positive strides for left fielder Nolan Reimold, who said the pain is subsiding in the bulging disk in his neck. … Brian Roberts made his second start for low Class-A Delmarva, batting leadoff and playing second base. He was 1-for-2 with a single and a walk in his first game with the Shorebirds on Tuesday. … Adam Jones went 0-for-2 Wednesday with a walk and was hit by a pitch, ending his career-long hitting streak at 20 games. The most recent streak that long by an Oriole was Melvin Mora's 23-game streak from May 17 to June 12, 2003.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun