Carroll County Times

Orioles Notebook: Markakis catalyst for lineup on Sunday

BALTIMORE - Nick Markakis continued his successful start to the season with a solid performance Sunday against Boston, when the Baltimore right fielder collected four hits, scored three runs, and flashed his glove on defense in the Orioles' 6-3 win over the Red Sox.

Markakis went 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles and energized a Baltimore lineup that pounded out 14 hits from the leadoff spot. He also garnered plenty of praise from his manager afterward.

"I wouldn't know where to start," said Buck Showalter, who made notes of how many things Markakis did that helped the team win Sunday's game.

There was Markakis advancing to second base on a long fly out by Manny Machado in the third inning, then scoring on Adam Jones' two-out double to left. In the fifth, he scored on Machado's single to shallow center.

"Those are the things you've got to do to be successful," Markakis said. "Manny had a good at-bat. I knew it was going to be deep. I went back and tagged, and it ended up being a big play because the double drove me in. That's what you've got to do; you've got to do the little things to win."

He also made a nifty catch in the eighth when David Ortiz hit a liner to right off Brian Matusz.

Throw in the offense, and Markakis was the clear catalyst Sunday. He's batting .294 (up nine points Sunday) with seven home runs and 38 RBIs in 68 games.

"It's an honor to watch him play," Showalter said. "He gets it."

ON THE MEND: Showalter said starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen "took a big step" toward being back from the disabled list on time. Chen has been out since early May with a strained oblique muscle but threw from a full-sized mound in Sarasota, Fla., and apparently felt good in doing so.

In other injury news, Showalter said left fielder Nolan Reimold (hamstring) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Class AA Bowie on Tuesday, while second baseman Brian Roberts (hamstring) will remain with the Orioles through their upcoming road trip.

Right-hander Steve Johnson is making mild improvements with his oblique injury, Showalter said.

Pitcher Dylan Bundy is slated to throw two sessions of 25 pitches from 90 feet away on Monday in Sarasota, Showalter said.

Infielder and minor-league prospect Jonathan Schoop started a throwing regimen and jogging in a pool, Showalter said. Schoop was expected to miss 6-8 weeks when he suffered a stress fracture in his lower back in late May. Schoop is the club's top position-player prospect.

SICK STARTER: Jason Hammel returned to the team Sunday after spending two days at home dealing with an illness, but Showalter said Jake Arrieta will start in his place Monday in Detroit. Hammel is the likely starter for Tuesday's game.

"A lot better. Keeping food and fluids down. That's good," Hammel said after Sunday's game. "Still a little weak. Stomach viruses take a lot out of you. Other than that, I feel a lot better than two days ago."

AT THE YARD: Sunday's announced crowd of 41,311 pushed the Orioles' home attendance past the 1 million mark. In 35 games, Camden Yards has had 1,008,650 come through its gates for an average of 28,819.

UP NEXT: The Orioles head to Detroit for a three-game series with the AL Central-leading Tigers. Arrieta, Hammel, and Chris Tillman are Baltimore's scheduled starters, while Detroit goes with Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Rick Porcello. The Orioles took two of three from the Tigers when they visited May 31-June 2.