The Orioles are looking outside the organization for an on-base threat to increase production at the top of the lineup, but manager Buck Showalter obviously couldn't wait any longer for help in the leadoff spot.

That's why right fielder Nick Markakis has gone right from the disabled list into a slot in the batting order that he had never occupied in 996 previous major league games.

Obviously, drastic situations call for drastic measures. The club is batting a dismal .264 in the leadoff spot and ranks 26th in the majors with a .302 on-base percentage. Markakis has spent most of his career batting in the No. 3 hole, but he said he was fine with the change in job description.