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Markakis gets breather as designated hitter

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Markakis gets breather as designated hitter play video for Markakis gets breather as designated hitter

BALTIMORE -- Nick Markakis was in the Orioles lineup as usual for Wednesday's game with the Royals, but as the designated hitter and not the starting right fielder.

Markakis made his third start as the DH, with Chris Dickerson taking over in right field and batting ninth. For Markakis, it's a bit of a break, but something he adjusts to when it happens.

"It's different. You've just got to stay loose, stay stretched," Markakis said. "It's good -- it gives me time off, gives me a chance to get my feet back under me. It's a different mindset, but it's good every once in a while."

Markakis said manager Buck Showalter had told him earlier this season that he'd be the DH at times just for that reason -- getting a little break.

Showalter is going to rotate players in the DH spot from time to time to give various people a break, something often needed over a 162-game season.

"It's tough to go out there and play every day, especially for a long time over years," Markakis said. "Like I said, it's good for you every once in a while just to get your feet back under you, and kind of get your head on straight."

Markakis is off to a good start so far in 2013. The veteran right fielder entered Wednesday with a .270 average, three homers and 15 RBIs.

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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