Showalter on Markakis: "Nicky wants to play here for the rest of his life"

We had an unusual occurrence last night at Camden Yards. Nick Markakis didn't get a hit.

We also had a rain delay, which has become as common as finding peanut shells under the seats.

You have a better chance of seeing a bull roaming the streets of Baltimore than a game played without rain. And I wouldn't steer you wrong.

Sorry if I'm milking this story.

Markakis still needs two more hits to tie Ken Singleton for sixth place on the Orioles' all-time list with 1,455.

Here's the top five that I posted yesterday:

1. Cal Ripken Jr. - 3,184
2. Brooks Robinson - 2,848
3. Eddie Murray - 2,080
4. Brady Anderson - 1,614
5. Boog Powell - 1,574

markakis-from-below-white-blue-sky-sidebar.jpgMarkakis tied and passed Brian Roberts during Thursday night's game, the latest testament to his consistency and steady approach.

"That's one good way to put it," said manager Buck Showalter.

"He stuck his head in the office after the game about something else, I don't know what it was, and he had that blank-eating grin on his face. He's close to Brian, and to pass him, it didn't mean something special to him, but he just kind of thought it was ironic."

Roberts was the longest-tenured Oriole before signing with the Yankees over the winter. Markakis, the seventh-overall pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, can become a free agent following the season. His contract includes a $17.5 million option for 2015.

"I'm sure that Brian never thought that he would play somewhere else and Nicky is hoping he never plays somewhere else," Showalter said.

"It's a testament to his loyalty, too. Obviously, he's been compensated well for it. But Nicky wants to play here for the rest of his life. If that happens, there's some people in front of him that I would expect him to pass."

Markakis is 3-for-12 with two doubles and five walks against Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A Dickey. J.J. Hardy is 5-for-15 with a double and home run.

Chris Davis is only 5-for-21, but it includes two doubles and a homer. Adam Jones is 3-for-19 with a homer.

Dickey is 2-4 with a 4.66 ERA in 11 career games (eight starts) against the Orioles, and 1-2 with a 3.98 ERA in four games (three starts) at Camden Yards. He didn't get a decision on April 22 after allowing three runs over six innings at Rogers Centre.

Bud Norris is back on the mound after tossing eight scoreless innings against the Red Sox. He threw seven scoreless against the Blue Jays on April 12.

Norris has allowed three runs in 13 innings in two career starts against Toronto.

Steve Pearce had two more hits last night and is 8-for-17 since June 6. He's put together his third five-game hitting streak of the season.

Manny Machado tied his season high last night with three hits after his double Thursday night snapped an 0-for-18 streak. Is he more comfortable batting seventh?

"That's a good question," Showalter said. "I didn't really discuss it a lot with him. If you ask him, he'd rather be hitting higher, but I haven't asked him. I don't think he's been doing this long enough to have an opinion on it."

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