Braves hope to rally behind Markakis' hot streak

Braves hope to rally behind Markakis' hot streak

MIAMI -- With the Braves mired in a nine-game skid to start the season, manager Fredi Gonzalez made the move Friday to put right fielder Nick Markakis at the top of the batting order.

Markakis went on to drive in the game-tying run with a single to fuel a four-run eighth that lifted the Braves to a 6-3 win over the Marlins, their first victory of the season.

Entering Friday's action, Markakis led the Majors with seven doubles, hitting three two-baggers on Sunday alone vs. St. Louis. He had three multi-hit games and had hit safely in six of his first nine games while boasting a .303 batting average.

Markakis' three doubles

"I think he's been our hottest hitter of late," said Gonzalez before Friday's game. "When Mallex [Smith] is not in the lineup, he's our best option."

Though Gonzalez didn't indicate the move would be a permanent one, he does anticipate it being more than just a one- or two-day switch.

"I don't like doing one-day lineup changes," Gonzalez said. "I may run this out for a little bit, with Nick hitting leadoff."

And that's just fine with the Braves' new leadoff hitter.

"I talked to him about it, and in typical Nick Markakis fashion, he goes, 'Hey skip, whatever you think is a winning lineup. You can put me anywhere you want.' ... He's legit."

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.