Solid all year after off-season critics suggested his career might be on the downward swing, this outfielder is having a great season and moving up the ranks of the best Orioles ever.
Stud of the Week for July 28-Aug. 4:
With two home runs and a double among eight hits, Markakis batted .308 last week, one of the few O's swinging a hot bat. On the season, he's doing everything expected from a lead-off man, pacing the team in hits (131) and ranking second in bases on balls (43).
Leading off the bottom of the first Sunday against tough Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma, Markakis turned on an inside pitch, driving it to Eutaw Street for what proved to be the game's only run. The blast helped solidify the O's hold on first place, expanding their lead to 3.5 games with a Toronto Blue Jays lost yesterday.
Among Markakis's three hits Sunday was his 1,500 career Major League hit as an Oriole, moving him into sixth-place on the all-time team list. Currently, he stands 73 hits behind Boog Powell, in fifth place, and also behind Brady Anderson, Eddie Murray, Brooks Robinson, and some guy who played shortstop for a long time with 3,184 hits.