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Former Oriole Nick Markakis reaches 2,000 hits with a single to left

Former Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis now has 2,000 hits in the majors.
Former Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis now has 2,000 hits in the majors. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

With a single to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning Thursday night, Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis reached 2,000 career hits.

He can attribute his time with the Orioles for much of the production en route to the milestone.

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Markakis, who still has a house in Maryland, spent nine seasons with the Orioles before signing with the Braves during free agency in December 2014 and had 1,547 hits as a dependable top-of-the-order stalwart.

The Orioles' first-round pick in 2003, Markakis reached the major leagues in 2006 and had at least 170 hits in seven of the next nine seasons. He had a career-high 191 hits in 2007 and had at least 180 each of the next four years.

After enduring a run when the Orioles never won more than 70 games in his first six seasons, Markakis missed the franchise's postseason return as he nursed a broken thumb in 2012. But he had eight hits and three RBIs in two 2014 playoff series before joining the Braves on a four-year, $44 million contract that offseason.

As Markakis also earned two Gold Glove awards as an Oriole for his prowess in right field, he emerged as a community leader for helping children with his Right Side Foundation and the Baltimore-based Casey Cares Foundation. He won the Tim Wheatley Award, named after a former Baltimore Sun editor that the media group uses to recognize a local sports figure's service, in 2013.

Since moving to Atlanta, Markakis, who grew up in Georgia, has a .283 batting average with 454 hits. His latest -- a double in the sixth inning Thursday night -- made him the 10th active player to surpass 2,000 hits.

Former Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis thanked O's fans, his teammates and the organization in a 2-page ad in Wednesday's Baltimore Sun.
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