Nick Markakis talks after his two-homer night at Bowie

BOWIE, Md. - After playing with the Double-A Bowie Baysox tonight, both Nick Markakis and Taylor Teagarden said they hope they can rejoin the Orioles next Friday when the second half begins.

Markakis went 2-for-3 with two homers and four RBIs in Bowie's 7-1 win over Akron. He hit two-run homers in the third and seventh innings. He had surgery on his right wrist about five weeks ago and had it wrapped after tonight's game.

"I felt good," Markakis said. "Just trying to get some at-bats and put some good swings on the ball. A couple of them ended up going out of the ballpark. You know, it's a slow process. I'm probably still not where I want to be, but it's coming there.

"Still need the range in my wrist. I feel like I'm getting to the balls middle and middle away good. You know, it's a matter of getting a feel for the pitches down and in where I have to pull my hands in. That second homer tonight I had to pull my hands in and everything felt good. But it's hit or miss on some swings that are sore, but that's normal and I expected that."

Does he feel he can play for the Orioles on Friday?

"If everything goes smoothly here, then yeah, I'd like to join the team in the second half," Markakis said. "But I don't want to do anything too early and end up getting pushed back a little bit. That's the plan, but still got a few more games and couple of workouts, so we'll see how it goes."

markakis-field-pop-up_sidebar.jpgHe will play tomorrow and Monday for the Baysox. After that, he could join another affiliate to play a few more games before Friday.

"Anything is possible. If I feel like I need a couple more games, I'll talk to Buck (Showalter) and we can make arrangements if I need it. But I'll see where I am after Monday," Markakis said.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any discomfort. But I had surgery five weeks ago, so I'm expecting it. With injuries like this, you will play with some pain until it gets out of there."

Tonight, Markakis played in Bowie for the first time since late in the 2005 season.

"It was good. Nice to come back here and see some people that are still working here from when I was here before. I enjoyed it," he said. "This was cool and look forward to doing it again tomorrow."

If he had to guess, will he be back in the O's lineup on Friday?

"If I was a betting man, yeah, hopefully. But I'll just take it day by day," Markakis said.

Meanwhile, Teagarden went 1-for-2 with two walks as the DH tonight after catching nine innings for Bowie last night. Baysox manager Gary Kendall said he looked very smooth and polished behind the plate Friday night.

Teagarden, acquired by the Orioles in a trade with Texas last December, has missed all season with a herniated disc in his lower back. He has had three epidural injections.

"I feel pretty good," Teagarden said. "It was kind of a rough last four months for me because my back just wasn't responding like we hoped. But June was a productive month for me. I was symptom-free for the most part and we started an aggressive rehab. Now I'm at a point where I can play in games and the goal is to get back playing at 100 percent healthy."

Does he feel confident about being physically ready to rejoin the Orioles by next Friday?

"That would be best-case scenario, but I feel like with the way things are going that would be very realistic," Teagarden said. "I'm happy with the way my body is responding. Right now I just have to grind out as much I can every day to really get into as best shape as I can to help the club out at the big league level. But I think that's a realistic goal."

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