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News » Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Baltimore Orioles Inside Pitch 2009-05-02
Nick Markakis is not only driving in runs, he's also setting up runs.

The fourth-year right fielder is batting .381, which ranks third in the American League. Early in his career, many onlookers, including hitting coach Terry Crowley, predicted a batting title in the left-handed hitter's future.

After struggling in his rookie season of 2006 to hit left-handed pitching, Markakis has made strides in that department. After hitting .286 against them in 2006 and .274 in 2007, Markakis is batting .333 against lefties this season, up from .297 last year.

The former first-round pick carries a league-leading 16-game hit streak into Friday's series opener in Toronto. He's one game away from a career-high streak, and his 31-game streak of reaching base is the longest current stretch in the majors.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Markakis' 16-game stretch is the second-longest such April streak in Orioles history, behind Davey Johnson's 17-game run in 1971.

Markakis trails only Kevin Youkilis (.395) and Victor Martinez (.386) in the AL batting race. With Carlos Beltran (.388) leading the NL, Markakis' average sat fourth in the majors.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 2, 2009

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