It's not that Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis was opposed to batting leadoff.

It's just that the concept never crossed his mind.

Or, really, anyone else's in the organization. At least not until desperation set in this July, when oft-injured table-setter Brian Roberts was placed on the disabled list again.

"I didn't think I'd ever be leadoff. But somebody's got to do it with BRob being out," said Markakis, who has batted first in every game since the All-Star break after never doing it before in his career. "And nobody really was solidifying that role."

Consider it solidified.