For now Markakis will stay in the third spot in lineup

After a stretch where he has just one hit over his last four games and 17 at-bats, Nick Markakis is now batting .230 on the year with three homers, 11 RBIs and an OPS of .687 in 29 games.

After driving in 60 runs in 2010 and 73 last year, Markakis has just three RBIs over his last 13 games and is not giving the Orioles your standard three-spot batting order production right now.

But manager Buck Showalter said today he is not considering moving Markakis to another spot in the lineup at this point.

“I think it’s too early,” Showalter said. “I think Nick has swung the bat well for us at times. The actual order, I think, sometimes too much is made out of it. Usually when someone is not hitting as well as they are capable of. Nick’s done some good things for us, had a lot of big hits for us and will again. (Matt) Harrison was pretty tough last night. He really pitched last night.

“Sure I think about it, it’s like (Robert) Andino going to the one-spot against a left-handed pitcher. The whole batting order thing, there are so many things in our game that are like ‘this guy has to be in this spot and this guy here.’”

The four-game stretch has dropped Markakis’ average 30 points to .230 and he is batting just .115 against left-handed pitching and is just 4-for-23 when hitting with runners in scoring position.

Markakis got off to such a fast start in that opening series against Minnesota, going 5-for-7 with two homers in those first two games, but is batting just .198 since then.

But we haven’t seen Showalter make too many lineup changes with his veteran players since taking over as O’s skipper and he is not inclined to make one now with his right fielder.

Showalter knows he has his team playing well at 19-10 and that others have been doing well throughout his lineup. Heading into this series with Texas, the Orioles were batting .282 with 51 runs scored over their past eight games.

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