Markakis misses just second start
Trembley gives durable right fielder a day off
TORONTO -- Nick Markakis was held out of the starting lineup for just the second time all season on Tuesday, as manager Dave Trembley was able to give his right fielder a day off.
The Orioles' 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays in 11 innings marked the first game Markakis missed all season.
"He may not be OK with it, but he understands," said Trembley. "Markakis has told me over and over again, 'Hey, I'm paid to play. ... It's not fun for me to just watch.' He wants to play, and you like that in your guys -- especially when your team isn't doing as well as you'd like it to do. That's when you really find out about guys."
Markakis, Baltimore's right fielder, has been among the most durable players in the league the last few seasons. The former first-round Draft pick played in 161 games in 2007 and chased that by playing in 157 last year. And while he prides himself on playing every day, Markakis said he doesn't have a goal to play every game.
"I don't think it should be a goal for anybody," he said. "It's a long year, and it's a lot of wear and tear. I know I've had some scheduled days off, and some things have come up. The manager's been put in some tough situations, and that's fine. But yeah, today's going to be a good day off. I'm going to take it and relax, watch a ballgame."
Trembley pushed the button on Markakis just once all season, holding him out of a start in Philadelphia during the Interleague portion of the schedule. The Orioles fell into a situation in which they needed Markakis late in that game, though, and Trembley reached out to Markakis and used him off the bench.
"I've been trying to give him a day, and he's balked at it," Trembley said. "He wants to be in there every day."
Markakis, who is six RBIs away from 100, said he doesn't feel as though he's been pressing. Furthermore, he said he's been hesitant to come out of the lineup but recognizes that this might be a good time.
"It's the end of the year, and I'm getting a little tired. It's a tough situation we're in, but it's a good time to have off," Markakis said. "Numbers are numbers. I don't really care what they are at the end of the year. The biggest thing is winning and losing, and the biggest part for us is getting these young guys and letting them get experience."
"Nick's the best hitter on the team," added Trembley. "One thing about Markakis and [Brian] Roberts is that they've never come and told me that they need a day off. They've never come and asked me to take them out of the lineup. I'm sure there are a lot of guys like that throughout baseball, but to me, they're a rarity."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.