BALTIMORE - Nick Markakis had a few dry spells working against him as he entered Sunday's game against Oakland.
The Baltimore right fielder hadn't hit a home run in 51 games, and hadn't hit a double in 31 games. But Markakis snapped both skids Sunday in the Orioles' 10-3 victory over the Athletics.
The double came in the third inning with one out, and snapped a stretch of 126 at-bats without an extra-base hit. Markakis last doubled July 19 before Sunday.
The home run, his ninth of the season, came when Markakis led off the sixth. It was his first homer since June 24.
Markakis hadn't registered an extra-base hit since July 19, when he doubled against Texas. But after the game Markakis didn't dwell on his droughts.
"Baseball's a weird game. Seventy percent of the time you fail, you're doing pretty damn good," he said. "If you're not failing 70 percent ... this is a game of failure. You've got to go out there and grind every day. That's the beauty about this thing. You can have a bad day and come back, bounce back the next day and have a bad week, come back [and] bounce back the next week. They say it all evens out in the end, so we'll see."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he knows what kind of player he has in Markakis, who might not be flashy or ride streaks of power but remains consistent.
"You know he doesn't wear his emotions on his sleeve, but you don't do the things he's done without having a real inner burn," Showalter said. "We all know what playing for the Orioles and playing for this city means to Nick."
ON THE MEND: Designated hitter Wilson Betemit is getting closer to rejoining the Orioles, but Showalter didn't put a timetable on his return. Betemit has been out since spring training with a knee injury.
Betemit has been taking grounders at first and third during his rehab assignment, and is playing with Class-AAA Norfolk right now, but it's likely he'll be used as the primary DH when he gets back.
"He has improved, he's getting there," Showalter said. "It's not something that happens overnight. But it's a lot better than it was when he first started [rehab]. I think he's going to get there."
HAMMEL TIME: Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel threw off a mound Sunday for the second time since going on the disabled list July 31 with a strained muscle mass in his right arm. Showalter said Hammel is set to pitch for Class-AA Bowie on Thursday in a rehab assignment. Showalter said the right-hander is scheduled to throw 45 pitches or three innings, whichever comes first.
CALI CRUISING: The Orioles are 16-8 against California teams this season after finishing off Oakland with a 5-2 record. Baltimore is 7-3 against Los Angeles teams (5-2 vs. the Angels, 2-1 vs. the Dodgers), 2-2 against San Diego, and 2-1 against San Francisco. The Orioles are 10-3 when playing in the Golden State.
UP NEXT: Monday marks Baltimore's penultimate off-day of the regular season (the final one is Sept. 16) and the Orioles head to Boston for a three-game series starting Tuesday. Their scheduled starting pitchers are Wei-Yin Chen (7-6), Bud Norris (9-10), and Chris Tillman (14-4).