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Markakis plays in opener with neck feeling better

BALTIMORE -- Nick Markakis came through batting practice fine, and he'll suit up in right field for Baltimore's Opening Day contest against Boston, batting leadoff on Monday afternoon.

Markakis has been dealing with some neck spasms that started on the team flight to Norfolk, Va., on Saturday, and he said Monday morning he felt a lot better.

"I've been here long enough to know which injuries I can baby and which injuries I need to take care of," Markakis said. "This is one that is kind of in between."

Markakis will be making his eighth Opening Day start for the Orioles, who had several new faces for the orange carpet, including their No. 5-ranked prospect Jonathan Schoop, who got the start at second base and will bat ninth. Ryan Flaherty, a former Rule 5 Draft pick, took over third-base duties in Manny Machado's absence, with non-roster invitee Delmon Young starting at designated hitter against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
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