The milestone six years in the making for Markakis

There were two outs and none on when Nick Markakis stepped into the batter's box in the last of the third. He then singled to right off Cleveland's Josh Tomlin to pick up his 1,000th career hit.

Markakis gets to 1,000 at age 27 and in his sixth season in the majors.

They posted an impressive stat last night during the MASN O's Xtra post-game show. Markakis got to 1,000 hits in fewer career games than Orioles legends and baseball Hall of Famers Cal Ripken and Brooks Robinson.

Next stop, 2,000 for the Orioles right fielder.

"What hits me is what 3,000 is," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Seems like Nicky, he's what, 27? That's pretty impressive. I think his consistency is something. I'm a big fan of consistency, especially from the manager's seat.

"He's a guy that is very easy to trust. He brings a certain element everyday no matter what is going on in his life. On or off the field and physically. Nick is dinged up. You see some of the things I see after the game. He posts up and it's very important to him to post up and be there for the organization and his teammates.

"It's just the way he was brought up. That was something that came with him when he was drafted, it wasn't something that was developed here. You don't develop that in the big leagues, you come with that. Usually from your mother and father," the Orioles skipper added.

Markakis has produced 182 hits or more the last four years. Right now he has 109 this year to lead this team, and he has hit safely in 29 of his past 31 games, batting .390 in that span.

"His average has come up a lot," Showalter said. "I think he takes what they give him. We haven't had a real solid period where a lot of guys create challenges for the other pitcher, so there has been a lot of focus on Nick for the opposition, I see how they pitch him.

"I see how some teams play him compared to others. There is not one set way they always pitch him and that's a great attribute to have."

Here is some Markakis math. He has averaged 187 hits per year over the last four seasons. He should finish this season somewhere around 1,075, leaving him 1,925 hits short of 3,000.

If he continued to average 187 hits per year, he would produce 3,000 early his 17th year which would be in 2022.

A long way off, but doable for the Oriole that is now at 1,000 and counting.

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