- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 10, 2008

Daniel Cabrera stymied the struggling Texas Rangers for six innings, and the Baltimore Orioles got a homer and four RBI from Melvin Mora in a 9-0 victory Saturday night.

Nick Markakis hit a three-run homer, and Brian Roberts scored three runs for the Orioles, who won the first two games of the series by a combined 18-1. On Sunday, Baltimore will seek its first three-game sweep of the Rangers since 2000.

Mora singled in two runs in the fourth inning and hit a two-run homer in the seventh. He has 26 RBI in 20 games since the All-Star break.

Cabrera (8-7) allowed four hits in an unusually effective performance against the Rangers. The right-hander was 1-6 with a 6.33 ERA in eight previous appearances against Texas, including 0-3 at home.

But the Rangers are having problems hitting lately, in part because they’re without injured sluggers Milton Bradley and David Murphy. Texas has scored one run in three games and two runs over the last 34 innings.

The Rangers’ offense was further depleted by the loss of All-Star Michael Young in the fourth inning to a finger injury. A team official said the shortstop would return to the lineup Sunday.

After Cabrera left, three Baltimore relievers held the Rangers to one hit in the final three innings.

Texas starter Vicente Padilla allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings to drop his first decision in five starts since July 4, when he yielded eight runs to the Orioles. The right-hander is 0-2 with an 18.90 ERA against Baltimore and 12-4 with a 4.13 ERA against everyone else.

Texas loaded the bases with one out in the first inning before Cabrera retired Marlon Byrd on a popup and struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a 3-2 pitch.

Presented with a similar situation in the bottom half - bases loaded, one out - Baltimore got an RBI single from Kevin Millar before Padilla struck out Luke Scott and Ramon Hernandez.

Markakis put the Orioles up 4-0 in the second, hitting his 17th home run after Juan Castro got the first of his three singles and Roberts walked.

Padilla retired the side in order in the third but again ran into trouble in the fourth. Two hits and a walk loaded the bases for Mora, who lined a single up the middle.

Roberts hit an RBI single in the fifth to make it 7-0, and Mora connected in the seventh off Joaquin Benoit.

Notes - Texas has lost four straight. …

Baltimore’s Aubrey Huff doubled to stretch his hitting streak to 17 games, matching his career high (set in 2002 with Tampa Bay). …

Markakis is 6-for-9 with five RBI against Padilla.

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