- The Washington Times - Friday, June 11, 2004

BALTIMORE — Daniel Cabrera was perfect through six innings last night at Camden Yards. The Baltimore Orioles rookie used a delicious recipe of spotting fastballs and offspeed pitches to keep the Arizona Diamondbacks rattled while not allowing a hard-hit ball.

The lanky Dominican right-hander galloped out of the dugout, leaped over the first-base line and looked cool and composed to start the seventh. However, the magic had disappeared as heavy rains fell.

A leadoff walk ended the perfect suspense, and Steve Finley turned Cabrera’s sterling effort into a painful losing one by following with a two-run homer. Finley’s launch propelled the Diamondbacks to a 3-0 victory in the decisive game of the three-game interleague series.

Finley’s 17th homer came off an 0-2 pitch and just cleared the wall in right a short distance inside the foul pole. The 39-year-old ex-Oriole had failed in two attempts to bunt Hairston over before swinging away on the third pitch.

“I wanted a two-seam [fastball] on the outside corner with the left-handed hitter,” said Cabrera, who was making only his sixth major league start. “It stayed right in the middle.”

The Diamondbacks scored three runs while sending eight players to bat in the seventh to the dismay of 25,106, the smallest interleague crowd ever in Baltimore. Danny Bautista followed Finley’s shot with an infield single and scored with two out on Alan Zinter’s single.

The runs were enough for Arizona starter Casey Fossum (1-4), who threw six shutout innings after coming in with a 7.33 ERA. He did not allow a runner past second and stranded six Orioles. Baltimore (26-29) did not get a runner past second base while losing for the 13th time in its past 19 games.

“We left 10 guys on base,” said Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli, whose team was shut out for the third time. “It seemed like every time they were on, it was with two outs and we just couldn’t pick them up.”

Cabrera (3-2), only 23, has been Baltimore’s most consistent starter in a rocky rotation. The 6-foot-7 youngster has gone at least five innings in five of his six starts since being called up from Class AA Bowie in early May. But the Orioles didn’t provide any offense to help Cabrera’s cause.

Baltimore mounted a threat in the seventh when Larry Bigbie beat out an infield single off reliever Mike Koplove and catcher Robert Machado blooped another single to right. However, the mild uprising ended when Brian Roberts popped to first on the next pitch, Melvin Mora flied to right and Miguel Tejada grounded to second.

Note — Jay Gibbons will go on a rehab assignment tomorrow and Sunday at Class AA Bowie. The Orioles outfielder has been suffering from back spasms and has been on the 15-day disabled list since June2, retroactive to May26. There had been speculation Gibbons would return to Baltimore this weekend, but Mazzilli said he is headed to the minors as a precaution. “We want to make sure [hes OK],” said Mazzilli, who expects Gibbons to be activated Monday.

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