Markakis leaves his mark (Galarraga released, homer note)

If you picked Nick Markakis to hit the first Orioles home run of 2012, let me be the first to congratulate you.

Markakis swatted a Carl Pavano curveball over the fence in left field, giving the Orioles a quick 2-0 lead.

J.J. Hardy walked before Markakis stepped to the plate for his first regular-season at-bat since having abdominal surgery.

I’d say he’s ready.

Jake Arrieta walked Jamey Carroll with one out in the top of the first before fielding Joe Mauer’s comebacker and starting a 1-6-3 double play.

Arrieta’s fastball has been clocked at 96 mph multiple times in the first two innings.

Meanwhile, left-hander Dana Eveland has reported to Triple-A Norfolk after clearing waivers and accepting his outright assignment. I’m hearing that the Orioles released Armando Galarraga, but I’m trying to get confirmation.

Update: Confirmed. The Orioles released Galarraga.

Update II: The last Oriole to homer in his first plate appearance of the year was Jon Knott on April 17, 2007. The last Oriole to homer on opening day in his first plate appearance was Luis Matos on April 4, 2005.

Admit it, years had passed since you thought of Jon Knott.

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