Nick Markakis: Still cranking out the hits

In a lineup that features Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Adam Jones, Nick Markakis can get overlooked. Not by anyone in the Orioles clubhouse, but by the rest of us.

While others grab deserved headlines, Markakis just keeps showing up and cranking out hits. And doing that while batting both first and third in the batting order.

In 56 games, he is batting .306 with seven homers, 33 RBIs, a .448 slugging percentage and .805 OPS. Over his last 22 games, he is batting .370 with eight doubles, four homers and 18 RBIs.

While Chris Dickerson got pounced on by his teammates - and deservedly so - after hitting a game-winning three-run homer Friday night, it was Markakis that fueled the rally with a leadoff homer to right off Jose Valverde.

This morning, Buck Showalter talked about Markakis’ ability to move seamlessly between two different spots in the batting order and keep cranking out the hits.

“He doesn’t have an ego. ‘Well, I can’t hit there, my game will change there.’ Nicky is, ‘Whatever.’ He doesn’t have an ego and it’s refreshing to be around him. It’s about the Orioles. I think he knows I trust him and he trusts me,” Showalter said.

“It is something that the club needs him for. We need him for that (batting both first and third). You know, when some of your best players approach the game that way, it makes it real easy for the rest of them to see the way.”

The Orioles lead the AL in homers, slugging, extra-base hits and OPS. Markakis is not quite hitting .326 like Machado, he doesn’t have 19 homers like Davis or 18 steals like Nate McLouth.

But on a team with an offense that is among the best in the league right now, he is very appreciated in his own clubhouse even if he’s not getting talked about much outside of it.

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