Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Orioles Team Report May 21, 2008

Inside Pitch

Coming into the current season, a lot of people in the Orioles organization crossed their fingers and have virtually kept them that way every time the enigmatic Daniel Cabrera went to the mound.

The big right-hander had never reached the potential many baseball people saw in him. But manager Dave Trembley and pitching coach Rick Kranitz came out of spring training with the proclamation that this was going to be the year Cabrera came into his own.

Tuesday presented a major test for Cabrera. He passed with flying colors, leaving Trembley with the right to say, “I told you so.”

Facing the once-feared Yankees, he improved his record to 5-1 by extending his string of quality starts to eight in a row. Alex Rodriguez’s two-run homer in the sixth accounted for the only runs Cabrera allowed in seven innings. And he lowered his season ERA to 3.48. Another key statistic was that he didn’t walk a batter for the third time this season.

Cabrera took the mound in the bottom of the first inning with a 7-0 lead.

“When you have a lot of run support, it’s always good,” he told the Baltimore Sun.

Orioles 12, Yankees 2: Adam Jones keyed Baltimore’s seven-run first-inning rally with a bases-loaded double off Mike Mussina, who lasted only two-thirds of an inning. Jones finished with four hits and four RBIs. Brian Roberts had an RBI triple, and Kevin Millar and Luke Scott each hit home runs and scored three times. An up-and-in pitch from LaTroy Hawkins to Scott ignited a bench-clearing scuffle in the sixth.

Notes, Quotes

• CF Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to six games as he got a career-best four hits and a career-high four RBIs Tuesday against the Yankees. His average was boosted to .265, up from .223 on May 13.

• RHP Daniel Cabrera continued his string of outstanding starts with a five-hit, two-run, seven-inning stint against the Yankees. The team’s leader in walks for the past two years was walk-free for the third time this season as he upped his record to 5-1 and lowered his ERA to 3.48 with his eighth consecutive quality start.

• 1B Kevin Millar hit his sixth homer in the fourth inning and had two hits, giving him six multi-hit games in May. He has upped his average from .213 on May 7 to .241. He also scored three runs, equaling his season high from April 5.

• SS Freddie Bynum returned to the lineup after sitting out two games. He came through with a hit and his first RBI of the season in the Orioles’ seven-run first inning. Bynum has hit safely in six of the eight games he’s played since being activated from the disabled list.

• RHP Lance Cormier, who signed a minor league contract during the offseason, pitched the final two innings in relief of RHP Daniel Cabrera. He blanked the Yankees in those innings and has allowed just one run and one hit in 6 2/3 innings.

By The Numbers: 5—The number of different players who have started for the Orioles at shortstop. Alex Cintron, in the lineup on Saturday, the 42nd game of the season, was the fifth.

Quote To Note: “I’m trying to keep as many guys close to pitching on their regular turn as I possibly can. Until such a point where I can turn the rotation over and do that, I’m not going to mess with it. I think it’s important for routine.”—Manager Dave Trembley on his philosophy for keeping his starting pitchers on schedule.


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