Rangers pour it on Orioles by reining in Cabrera, 10-3

Pitcher walks 5, allows 8 runs in 3 2/3 innings as Perlozzo has first stormy game as manager

August 07, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

ARLINGTON, Texas - Sam Perlozzo has seen the good side of the Orioles since becoming manager. Yesterday, he got an extended look at the bad and the ugly.

Many of the scenes played out in the second inning, when the Texas Rangers sent 10 batters to the plate. At least they were able to find it. Daniel Cabrera never did.

Former Oriole David Dellucci hit a grand slam off Cabrera to cap the six-run inning at Ameriquest Field in Arlington, and Perlozzo endured his first defeat, 10-3, since replacing Lee Mazzilli last week.

If the pitching continues this way, there will be plenty of others. Cabrera (8-10) walked five batters, two with the bases loaded, before Dellucci connected. Perlozzo waited patiently, hoping not to abuse his relievers, convinced that his starter could go a little deeper.

"It's a situation where, if I have to get him too soon, we're going to have to cover a lot of innings with our bullpen, and we're going to be shot tomorrow," Perlozzo said. "In this ballpark, I figured if Daniel can [stick it out] and get us through the fifth, we have a shot at that game. I don't think there's any doubt you can come back in this ballpark. We just wanted to get him through and save our 'pen."

Severna Park native Mark Teixeira hit his second homer in two games, and his 30th this season, to give the Rangers an 8-1 lead in the fourth and send Cabrera to the bench. At least he was under cover.

A storm rolled into Arlington in the eighth, and fans were urged to vacate the upper deck as lightning flashed. The Orioles already were getting blown out.

David Newhan had a run-scoring single in the seventh and hit a 422-foot homer with two outs in the ninth, in a heavy downpour that earlier might have halted the game. Puddles formed in the infield, and players could see their reflections.

"The Lord parted the rain for me like the Red Sea," Newhan said.

Cabrera didn't have a prayer after striking out the side in the first. He can lose his command in an instant - or an inning.

Pitching coach Ray Miller visited the mound in the second after former Oriole Gary Matthews walked to force in a run, and shortstop Miguel Tejada offered counsel when Sandy Alomar walked.

Dellucci cleared the bases with the count full after Cabrera bounced a 1-2 pitch to him. Michael Young walked, and Tejada, second baseman Brian Roberts and catcher Javy Lopez went to the mound.

"He had outstanding stuff in the first inning," Perlozzo said. "When you strike out three guys, sometimes I think instead of going out the next inning to get people out, it's to strike them out. And you're off the plate, you're behind hitters. And you can't get behind to these guys."

With three innings behind him, Cabrera had thrown 80 pitches and trailed 6-0. The search for his first victory since July 14 would continue on the next homestand. He wasn't going to find it here.

There must be something about Texas hitters that causes Cabrera to lose control. He walked a career-high seven the previous time he faced them.

Cabrera second-guessed himself yesterday for attempting to work both sides of the plate rather than throwing his fastball down the middle.

"I was trying maybe to make the perfect pitch," he said. The end came with Cabrera at 98 pitches and an out remaining in the fourth. It took Chris Ray a while to record it.

The rookie served up a home run to Hank Blalock, giving Texas a 9-1 lead, walked Alfonso Soriano, allowed a single to Phil Nevin and walked Kevin Mench.

With the bases loaded, Miller strolled to the mound for another conference. He should have stayed there. Roberts booted Matthews' grounder, allowing Soriano to score, before Ray caught Alomar's popup.

Perlozzo wasn't tempted to use a position player and spare the bullpen. The flashback would have been pretty intense.

The Orioles hadn't gone to that extreme since shortstop Manny Alexander took the mound during a 26-7 loss to the Rangers on April 19, 1996. He allowed five runs, including Kevin Elster's grand slam, and walked four in two-thirds of an inning.

Who would have been Perlozzo's choice yesterday? "I think it was going to be me," he said.

Perlozzo had plenty of other moves to make. He put catcher Sal Fasano at first base in the seventh and switched Newhan from center field to third base. Chris Gomez shifted from third to shortstop, Eric Byrnes went to center and Midre Cummings replaced Bynes in left.

Fasano played five games at first in 1998 with the Kansas City Royals. Mazzilli used him there frequently in spring training.

"When you're used to wearing a mask and chest protector," Fasano said, "you feel naked out there."

As if Perlozzo didn't already have reason to cover his eyes.

Orioles today

Opponent: Texas Rangers

Site, time: Ameriquest Field in Arlington (Texas), 2:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 13/WBAL (1090 AM)

Starters: Orioles' Sidney Ponson (7-10, 6.12) vs. Rangers' Chris Young (8-7, 4.94)

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