TORONTO — When Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis made a sliding catch of Yunel Escobar’s liner in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-4 win over the Jays, manager Buck Showalter couldn’t help but look away.
For Markakis, who had offseason surgery to repair mulitple tears in his abdomen, it was his first true defensive test of the regular season.
“He dove and caught it and I kinda looked away and then I looked back over to right field and he was moving well,” Showalter said. “That was good to see. I hope so. I was talking to 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.”
Markakis said this spring the biggest obstacle in his recovery was becoming reactive on defense and not thinking before making plays in the field.
“I’m not thinking about it anymore. I think that’s the biggest thing,” Markakis said. “Just going out there and playing the game. 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.
“It’s just my natural reactions taking over now. And I’m just going with it.”
Markakis said he feels fine today after the catch and added he’s receiving no treatment in that area, but he continues to have maintenance work on getting his legs back.