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McLouth happy to play regardless of spot in lineup

McLouth happy to play regardless of spot in lineup

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McLouth happy to play regardless of spot in lineup

BALTIMORE -- Left fielder Nate McLouth, a left-handed hitter, started the season with a defined role in the batting order: leadoff against right-handers. He wouldn't typically start against left-handers.

But recently he has been a mainstay in the lineup, regardless of the opponent on the mound.

He has conceded the leadoff spot to Nick Markakis, instead hitting in the sixth or seventh position, but he's just happy to have the chance to play every day.

"That's fine with me," McLouth said of batting lower in the order. "I like Nick leading off against lefties, because he hits. Nick's the kind of guy who, if you look at his numbers, they're probably the same against whatever pitcher, whatever inning, home, road, he's just so consistent."

With Nolan Reimold (hamstring) expected to rejoin the Orioles as early as Tuesday, manager Buck Showalter may have a decision to make when his club is facing left-handed starters. It's no guarantee that McLouth will go back to the bench against lefties, though, because he started a few times instead of Reimold earlier this season when both were healthy.

In 220 at-bats against righties, McLouth is hitting .291/.367/.386. Against lefties, in a small sample size of 41 at-bats, his line is .244/.340/.439. In addition, he's successfully stolen 24 bases in 28 attempts.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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