Showalter speaks after 6-0 victory

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter told reporters that Nick Markakis ran sprints today for the first time and continues to feel good. He’s making a nice recovery from the abdominal surgery and continues to believe that he’ll be ready by opening day.

As Showalter loves to say, “So far, so good.”

“That’s a good sign,” he said.

Nick Johnson will play first base tomorrow.

Showalter noted that Wei-Yin Chen had “a little bit better command” today.

“It’s part of the progression process of him making some adjustments to everything,” Showalter said. “I thought he threw the ball well today. Great day to pitch, wind blowing in.”

Showalter credited the Orioles’ staff and Chen’s teammates for making him feel comfortable.

“You can see his personality starting to come out,” Showalter said.

Robert Andino made an outstanding play up the middle to start a 4-3 double play.

“It will be real interesting to see what September does for his mentality this year,” Showalter said. “He was laughing and they were all kidding him when he got to stay back for a road game. He feels like he’s graduating. He said he was shocked the other day in the fifth inning when somebody told him he was done.”

Showalter also praised Steve Johnson, who threw a scoreless inning despite allowing a hit and hitting a batter.

“I’m sure he had some nervousness or whatever,” Showalter said, “but I thought he handled himself pretty well.”

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