O's Cabrera latest to star

Team's starters solid

U.S. hits 2nd round

Martis has no-hitter

World Baseball Classic


KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Daniel Cabrera was the last of the Orioles pitchers to face live competition in the World Baseball Classic.

He continued the trend of his in-season rotation mates.

Cabrera allowed one run and three singles in 3 1/3 innings last night and picked up the win as the Dominican Republic beat Australia, 6-4, in Pool D's finale. He also issued one walk, hit a batter and struck out two.

Considered a tournament favorite, the Dominican team finished 3-0 and along with Venezuela, has advanced to Round 2, which begins tomorrow.

Cabrera walked the first batter he faced, Trent Durrington, who later scored on a sacrifice fly. After the first inning, Cabrera, whose fastball was consistently clocked at 96 mph and slider at 89, had little trouble before being removed in the fourth.

"I think his upside is tremendous. I think the Orioles have a jewel there," Dominican manager Manny Acta said of Cabrera. "I see him being a potential Cy Young winner in the big leagues."

The Dominicans took the lead in a three-run second inning, paced by catcher Alberto Castillo's two-run double, and never trailed again.

Cabrera completed a string of solid performances by Orioles pitchers in the Classic. The team's four starters, Cabrera, Erik Bedard (Canada), Bruce Chen (Panama) and Rodrigo Lopez (Mexico) combined for a 1-1 record and a 2.20 ERA. The quartet allowed just four runs and 12 hits in 16 1/3 innings.

"Every starter from the Orioles is a young pitcher, and when you have young pitchers you don't know what can be, what can happen," Cabrera said. "Coming into this spring training we are 100 percent and I think everybody can do a good job."

In addition, Orioles prospect Adam Loewen threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings in Canada's upset of the United States on Wednesday. The only Orioles pitcher that didn't do well in the Classic was farmhand John Stephens (Australia). He allowed three runs in 1 2/3 innings and was tagged with the loss Tuesday against Italy.

Of the six, only Cabrera and Lopez advance to the second round. All five Orioles hitters, Luis Matos and Javy Lopez (Puerto Rico), Miguel Tejada (Dominican), Geronimo Gil (Mexico) and Ramon Hernandez (Venezuela), advanced.

United States 17, South Africa 0 -- Ken Griffey went 4-for-4 with two home runs and seven RBIs, and the Americans advanced to the second round with a rout in a game shortened to five innings because of the tournament's mercy rule. Roger Clemens allowed one hit in 4 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking none before leaving to a standing ovation from the capacity crowd of 11,975 at Scottsdale Stadium, spring training home to the San Francisco Giants.

Netherlands 10, Panama 0 -- San Francisco Giants minor leaguer Shairon Martis pitched the first no-hitter in the World Baseball Classic, leading the Netherlands over Panama in a game stopped after seven innings in San Juan, Puerto Rico, because of the tournament's mercy rule. Martis ended the game with his 65th pitch - the limit for starting pitchers in the first round - when Cesar Quintero hit a double-play grounder.

Puerto Rico 12, Cuba 2 -- Bernie Williams and Carlos Beltran homered and host Puerto Rico routed Cuba in a game that was strictly for pride, with both teams having already secured spots in the second round.

Off the field -- While Cuba played the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic on Thursday, a spectator in the stands raised a sign saying: "Down with Fidel," sparking an international incident that escalated yesterday. The image of the man holding the sign behind home plate was beamed live Thursday night to millions of TV viewers - including those in Cuba. The top Cuban official at the game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, rushed to confront the man. Puerto Rican police quickly intervened and took the Cuban official - Angel Iglesias, vice president of Cuba's National Institute of Sports - to a nearby police station where they lectured him about free speech. "We explained to him that here the constitutional right to free expression exists and that it is not a crime," police Col. Adalberto Mercado was quoted as saying in El Nuevo Dia, a San Juan daily.dan.connolly@baltsun.com

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

World Baseball Classic


At Scottsdale, Ariz. United States 17, South Africa 0, 5 inn. At San Juan, Puerto Rico Netherlands 10, Panama 0, 7 inn. Puerto Rico 12, Cuba 2 At Kissimmee, Fla. Dominican Republic 6, Australia 4


At Anaheim, Calif. Japan vs. United States, 4 p.m. South Korea vs. Mexico, 11 p.m. At San Juan, Puerto Rico Cuba vs Venezuela, 2 p.m. Dominican Republic at Puerto Rico, 8 p.m.


At Kissimmee, Fla. Dominican Republic 8, Italy 3 Venezuela 2, Australia 0 At San Juan, Puerto Rico Cuba 11, Netherlands 2 At Phoenix Mexico 9, Canada 1

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