Markakis heats up ... with Guerrero's bats
Orioles designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero hasn’t been very productive lately, but his bats are working wonders for Nick Markakis.
The Orioles right fielder started using Guerrero’s bats, which are heavier than the ones Markakis usually uses, about three weeks ago, and that has coincided with the one of the better stretches of his career.
Markakis went a career-best 5-for-5 with an RBI double today, and he was 8-for-10 with a homer, double and two RBIs in the final two games of the series. That two-game stretch came after Markakis went 0-for-4 in Friday’s series-opening loss to Atlanta, ending his career-best 19-game hitting streak.
“I feel a lot better than I did, there’s no question about it,” said Markakis, who has raised his average from .236 on June 7 to .296. “It’s just a comfort thing, getting in a comfortable position up there and not missing the pitch when you get it.”
Markakis, who said he started using Guerrero’s bats to try to add a little more pop to his swing, is 44-for-101 (.436) in his past 21 games.
His five hits today were part of a terrific all-around game for the veteran outfielder. He made a key defensive play in the seventh inning, fielding a ball cleanly off the top of the wall and throwing out Brian McCann trying to stretch a single into a double. He also stole a base in the ninth, giving him seven for the season, the same total he had last year.