Cabrera start called `a step'




The Orioles are eager for Daniel Cabrera to pitch his way back to Baltimore. But the young right-hander continued to battle command problems in his first start for Triple-A Ottawa on Tuesday.

"His velocity was good, but he still didn't have command of his breaking ball," manager Sam Perlozzo said yesterday. "It also sounded like he had some shaky defense behind him at one point. It's a step. We get that game behind him and see how he does next time."

He allowed four runs (three earned), seven hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings against the Richmond Braves.

Perlozzo hopes Cabrera will relax at Triple-A. He didn't put a time limit on the pitcher's Ottawa residency but reiterated that he hopes it is short.

Russ Ortiz struggled for a third straight outing on Tuesday, and the club has enough upcoming days off that Perlozzo could skip his spot in the rotation for almost two weeks. If Cabrera earns his way back by then, he could displace the veteran.

"I'd like to see him get his breaking ball over a little better and throw his pitches more in the zone," Perlozzo said of Cabrera. "He really should dominate down there. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt the first time out."

Penn makes strides

Hayden Penn had been searching for the form he showed before an emergency appendectomy halted his season. He seemed to have found it last night.

Pitching for Ottawa, Penn threw six scoreless innings in a 7-0 win over the Richmond Braves, striking out five. He allowed three hits and one walk.

"We want him to pitch every five days," Orioles vice president Jim Duquette said before Penn's start last night. "He's 100 percent healthy, but he's not at 100 percent with his strength. He's trying to get back into better shape, trying to get his feet back under him."

Penn hadn't been at his best in recent starts for Double-A Bowie and Ottawa.

"He wasn't able to do as much running, get into as good a physical condition as he needs to be to be effective," Perlozzo said.

When asked if Penn will join the Orioles this year, Perlozzo didn't offer a definite answer.

"For those guys to come back here, we have to have enough guys not doing well," he said. "And I hate to wish for some of our guys to not do well."

Tejada endorses Abreu

Miguel Tejada would love to play with Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu.

"If they did bring Abreu here, they would show the whole world that we want to win," Tejada said. "When you bring a player like him, it helps you out in the lineup, and that's what we want."

The Sun reported that the Orioles have talked with the Phillies about acquiring Abreu but that a deal is unlikely because of his large contract.

Roberts' fundraiser

Second baseman Brian Roberts yesterday announced an August fundraiser to benefit the University of Maryland Hospital for Children.

Brian's Baseball Bash will take place on Aug. 20 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the ESPNZone at the Inner Harbor. Tickets are $200 for adults and $150 for children 12 and under.

"This is going to be an event that hopefully makes a difference in the kids' lives," Roberts said.

Orioles scheduled to attend include Erik Bedard, Jeff Conine, Kevin Millar and Tejada.

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