Nick Markakis didn’t receive the traditional celebratory pie in the face tonight following his walk-off single in the 10th inning.
The Orioles took a more low key, less messy approach with their new first baseman.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy walked up beside Markakis in front of the home dugout and handed him the pie and a spoon. Markakis took a bite and continued his interview on MASN.
Apparently, it’s up to center fielder Adam Jones.
“That’s Jonesy’s decision,” Markakis said. “He was actually nice to me today. It tasted good. It’s a good pie if anyone wants it.”
It was a good win for a team that is losing Chris Davis to the disabled list.
“It was an interesting day. Long day,” Markakis said. “Get to the ballpark, ‘Hey, you’re playing first base.’ All right. Strap it up and let’s go.
“It’s always fun. It’s a different view of the game, a different look. It definitely goes a lot quicker in the infield than the outfield.”
Markakis played his fourth major league game at first base.
“Whatever helps,” he said. “We got a couple guys that can play it. (Ryan) Flaherty can play it, (Matt) Wieters can play it. I can catch sometimes.
“It’s tough to lose a guy like that, but we have depth, we have guys that can come up and fill in, and that’s what guys have been doing. Jemile (Weeks) today for example. He led off the game, base hit, gets things going. We end up scoring two runs off that.
“We have confidence in our guys and in our system. To be a successful baseball team, guys are going to have to come up and fill in and help out.”
Manager Buck Showalter went to the mound for the last pitching change and asked Markakis whether he was having fun.
“He goes, ‘It would be a lot more fun if we were up five runs,’” Showalter said.
“Nicky, this is what the team needs. He doesn’t bat an eye. Some people would look for a reason to not be good at it. He looks at it as a way to make a contribution that a lot of people can’t do. There’s a lot of Gold Glove right fielders that would have broke out in hives if you asked them to come play first base, but he’s got a pretty good background at first base. Just like we knew Chris has a background in pitching, but we don’t want to do it again. Nicky’s got a background at first, but we don’t want him to do it the rest of his career. But it’s not the first. He’s worked at it some this year.”
Wei-Yin Chen turned in a quality start by holding the Royals to two runs over a seven innings. What made him better tonight?
“A lot sharper breaking ball and changeup,” Showalter said. “With the left-handed hitters they have, you’re going to have to have that.”
Chen’s seven innings marked his season-high.
“My slider was working real well tonight,” Chen said through his interpreter, “and it makes it a good combination with my fastball. Wieters knows what’s working, so he called a real good game tonight.”
Weeks provided a spark at the top of the lineup with a single, triple and run scored.
“I’ve told you guys Jemile is a guy who’s hit .300 in the big leagues,” Showalter said. “Maybe not over a full whole season, but he’s a good offensive player just about everywhere he’s been if you look at his track record.
“He’s a good offensive player. He can do a lot of things well. And there’s not a whole lot of split between him left- and right-handed.”
I’d expect Weeks to start again on Sunday since he’s 3-for-7 against Royals starter James Shields. Showalter said he checked Week’s numbers versus Shields and Jeremy Guthrie before the decision was made to recall him.