Nick the Stick

Nick Markakis made sure we didn't endure a 12th inning today, lining a single into left-center field to touch off a wild, and rare, celebration at home plate.

So this is how a win looks and feels?

Amber Theoharis talks with Nick Markakis after his game winning hit in the 11th inning


"We've battled," Markakis said. "We were in games and lost them. But we didn't let this one get away. Our bullpen did a great job. (David) Hernandez came in and did as good of a job as you could ask that late in the game under the circumstances we were in. It was a good team win.

"Any time you get a win, especially against these guys, it means a good bit to us. We've had a rough schedule early on in the year and I know guys have been battling tough situations through the whole year so far. To come out and play a 4 hour, 4 1/2 hour game, whatever it was, to finish out and come out on top, it was big."

The Orioles dealt with a 10-game losing streak and the firing of their manager. They needed something positive to break their way.

"It's been difficult," Markakis said. "I'd say it wouldn't be as difficult if we had a team full of veterans, but as you know, we're a young team. We've got a lot of guys in their second, third year. But overall I think everybody is handling it well. It's no surprise we've had a rough year so far. We've had a lot of injuries, Dave being gone, we've had a lot thrown at us, and overall I think we've been doing a good job of handling it."

Markakis felt good for Juan Samuel, who had lost his first two games by a combined 19-2 score.

"It was big. He has his first win out of the way," Markakis said. "It's like a rookie going up there and getting his first hit out of the way. Now he can relax and manage us and have fun with it."

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