04/15/12 2:28 PM ET
Roberts lending basestealing expertise
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
That's why the pair of Orioles enlisted the help of teammate Brian Roberts, a prolific basestealer who was more than willing to lend his expertise.
"They both seem very interested in that aspect, and it's something I feel like I have quite a bit of experience at," said Roberts, who has 274 career stolen bases, including three consecutive seasons with 35 or more steals from 2006-08. "I think that if I'm here I need to use it for a reason. And sometimes when you are playing, you are so focused on what you have to do that you don't get the opportunity to really, as much as you should, take time to help other people with the things you are good at."
"He's been doing it for a long time," Andino said of his lockermate Roberts, who is on the disabled list but still traveling with the team. "Everybody knows the way B-Rob plays the game, he knows his stuff, so why not pick at [his brain?] I'm not saying I'm trying to do everything he does, but just to learn the little games that you get from veteran players, things about the game that you learn that you don't realize. Me, I'm 27, I don't know [a lot] about the game. I'm still learning."
Andino does not have one of Baltimore's five stolen bases, but Jones has three, most in the American League entering Sunday. Nick Johnson and Nolan Reimold, who is the team's leadoff hitter in Roberts' absence, each have a stolen base so far this season as well.
"I think both those guys can be very good basestealers," Roberts said of Andino and Jones. "A lot of it is a mindset and a mentality that you want to [run]. And I think they are now starting to get that mentality that they want to, because they think it is beneficial to the team and helping us win games."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is all for the running game, but he thinks guys are typically a little hesitant at the start of the season.
"I've been very cognizant of making sure they know, 100 percent, I'm going to be supportive of it," Showalter said. "We've had some examples of good baserunning before, we've had a couple situations where I thought we should have pushed the envelope a little bit, but I think guys understand that's what we want them to do."
Markakis no longer thinking about abdomen
TORONTO -- Nick Markakis lunged for Yunel Escobar's line drive in the seventh inning of Saturday's win over the Blue Jays, making a catch he's made countless times before.
But for Markakis, who is coming off abdominal surgery in January, his first successful dive this season -- which is how he suffered the abdominal tear -- was the final step in his recovery.
"I'm not thinking about it anymore, I think that's the biggest thing," said Markakis, who didn't play the field in Spring Training until mid-March. "Obviously I had to get comfortable. Now, I'm going to go out there and do my job and try to help the team win. It's all past me now."
Markakis is no longer receiving treatment on the area, although he is keeping up with some lower body maintenance work to keep his legs strong. Following the snag of Escobar's liner, Markakis threw the ball in and went back to his spot in right field with no problems, which was a welcome sight for manager Buck Showalter.
"He dove and caught it and I kind of looked away and then I looked back over to right field and he was moving well," Showalter said. "That was good to see.
"I was talking to [head athletic trainer] Richie [Bancells] in the dugout after the play and said, 'Does he come in for any treatment?' Nothing. He's moved on, knock on wood."
The O's had a few regulars out of the lineup Sunday, with catcher Matt Wieters getting his first day off this season and Mark Reynolds, who came in sick, getting a rest day as well.
Nolan Reimold had a leg cramp Saturday night and was almost taken out of the game early, according to manager Buck Showalter, who said it was more in the hamstring region. Reimold -- who had a two-run, go-ahead homer in the ninth inning -- wasn't in Sunday's starting lineup either.
Jake Arrieta will start Monday's opener in Chicago, with Wei-Yin Chen being pushed back to Tuesday. The rest of the rotation will remain the same after Chen, with Tommy Hunter and Jason Hammel going the final two games of the four-game set against the White Sox.
Hunter had a successful side session Sunday and he seems to be pretty much over some of the discomfort he had in his side that caused Showalter to wait before announcing his rotation order the first two times through. Hunter, who was also slowed with a back issue earlier this spring, has made both of his starts as scheduled, and Sunday's bullpen went well, according to pitching coach Rick Adair.
With a solo homer in the sixth inning Sunday, Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to 12 games, dating back to September 26, 2011.
Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in his first career Major League start Sunday.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.