Markakis homers twice at Bowie

BOWIE, Md. - Nick Markakis seems to be enjoying his return tonight to the Eastern League, even if it will be temporary. He has hit a pair of two-run homers this evening against Akron as Bowie leads 7-1 in the seventh.

In his second at-bat at Prince George's Stadium, Markakis hit a two-run homer off knuckleballer Steven Wright's 3-0 pitch to give the Bowie Baysox a 2-1 lead over Akron.

With two outs and none on in the last of the third, leadoff hitter Antoan Richardson drew a walk and then Markakis hit a blast out to right-center to get the Baysox on the board.

If you are wondering, that is his first Eastern League homer since Aug. 22, 2005 against Altoona. Markakis, who last played for the Orioles on May 29, was called out on strikes on a 2-2 pitch in the last of the first. Markakis is beginning what should be a short injury-rehab assignment here tonight after he had right wrist surgery just over a month ago.

In the seventh, Markakis came up against Akron's Tyler Sturdevant and hit a high drive down the right-field line that had just enough to get out and give the Baysox a 7-1 lead.

He is 2-for-3 tonight with a walk and four RBIs.

Taylor Teagarden is batting right behind Markakis tonight, in the third spot as the DH, and he has singled and walked in his first two plate appearances.

There is a small crowd here dealing with the blazing heat to watch two big leaguers in the Baysox lineup.

Markakis played here for the Baysox in 2005 and he hit .339 with three homers and 30 RBIs in 33 games. He may play with Bowie the next two days and possibly be activated by the Orioles when the second half resumes after the All-Star break.

Updated: Markakis and Teagarden both drew walks as Bowie scored three times in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead on a Robbie Widlansky bloop two-run single and a Rhyne Hughes RBI single.

Markakis has now struck out, hit a two-run homer and walked. Teagarden has singled and walked twice.

Update II: Bowie has wrapped a 7-1 win to improve to 43-44, thanks in large part to strong rehab performances from Markakis and Teagarden.

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