NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Nick Markakis #21 of the Baltimore Orioles follows through on a first inning home run against the New York Yankees on September 5, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Baltimore Orioles will have to continue their battle with the New York Yankees for the top spot in the AL East without lead-off hitter Nick Markakis. Markakis is out for at least six weeks with a broken thumb.
The news couldn't come at a worse time. Baltimore Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis will be out for six weeks with a broken thumb. Since the All Star break, the 2011 Gold Glover's batting average was a stunning .340 for the O's.
Markakis was hit by a pitch from New York Yankees pitcher CC. Sabathia on Saturday. The O's would go on to win the game 5-4 leaving them tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East. Should the Orioles make the playoffs, they'll likely be without the services of Markakis for, at the very least, the first round. Baltimore and New York meet for the final time this season on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. ET.
According to The Baltimore Sun, Buck Showalter will have to make some lineup adjustments to fill the spot in right and the lead-off batter position left by Markakis. Nate McLouth is looking like he's going to be the guy. Currently McLouth is in left field and hits third in the lineup.