Nick Markakis aims for October return after surgery

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Nick Markakis had pins inserted into his broken left thumb during surgery Tuesday morning and is still hoping to play next month if the Orioles reach the postseason.

“Originally, they thought they were going to put a plate in there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “They were concerned about the range of motion. They were able to put the pins in there and align it properly.”

The pins are expected to be removed in three weeks. If everything heals properly, it’s possible Markakis would be ready to play in the ALDS, should the Orioles advance.

Markakis was hitting .298/.363/.471 when his regular season was ended by a CC Sabathia fastball Saturday. Chris Davis replaced him in right field on Sunday.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.