Cabrera takes one for team, stays in game


Starter shakes off line drive in back

Trebelhorn might leave for season


May 28, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun reporter

The ball slammed into Daniel Cabrera's lower back, and manager Sam Perlozzo was the one hurting.

Shannon Stewart's line drive in the third inning yesterday nailed Cabrera as he turned away from it. Cabrera recorded the out and was hunched over in pain as Perlozzo and head trainer Richie Bancells raced from the dugout.

Perlozzo immediately feared he would have to go to his bullpen early, with no long man at the ready. But Cabrera stayed in the game, went six innings and earned the decision in an 8-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

"It bothered me for the first two minutes," Cabrera said, "but after that I didn't feel it because it hit me in the muscles."

It probably seemed a lot longer to Perlozzo, who couldn't call upon Brian Burres because the left-hander remains in the rotation.

"There was a lot of game to cover if he wasn't going to be able to go," Perlozzo said. "That was a concern. But I felt like it wasn't hit in a bad spot."

Cabrera threw 102 pitches and never seemed to find his rhythm, but said later that this was the "best feeling" he has had all season.

"I felt like all my pitches were working," he said.

Trebelhorn juggling responsibilities

If bench coach Tom Trebelhorn is forced to leave the team again to be with his wife, Elizabeth "Bo" Black, who's recovering from a stroke caused by a brain aneurysm, he'll probably remain with her for the rest of the season, with bullpen coach Dave Trembley assuming Trebelhorn's responsibilities on a full-time basis.

"I'm at the point now that if I've got to leave again, I'm staying home," Trebelhorn said yesterday while arranging the lineup on the magnetic board outside the clubhouse.

Black was found semiconscious at their Arizona home after suffering the aneurysm in February. Trebelhorn spent a considerable amount of time with her during spring training and has left the club on a few occasions since the season began.

"Our hope is that it will work out now because the schedule's pretty good," he said. "I get back out there for a day at the end of the Seattle series [next week], I'll get back out there for three days against Arizona [June 22-24], I'll get back out there for three days during the All-Star break [July 9-11]. We're going to try to get through this.

"These adult responsibilities are hard for us ballplayers to handle."

Lineup change

Melvin Mora found a new place to hit in the lineup, moving down to seventh for the first time this season. And he located his home run stroke, connecting for the first time since May 1, a two-run shot off Oakland starter Joe Blanton in the fourth inning.

Mora's average has dipped to .242 after he went 0-for-4 on Saturday and 2-for-12 in the Toronto series.

The lineup also included Jay Payton batting fifth, a rare occasion where he has hit ahead of Mora.

"[Mora's] been in a bit of a down slide right this second, and Jay's hitting the ball good," Perlozzo said. "I'm just moving people around a little bit. That's all."

Not a warm reception for Baez

It's sort of a Camden Yards tradition. A reliever continues to struggle, giving up leads and turning victory into defeat, and becomes targeted by fans until his slump ends. If it ever does.

Terry Mathews. Doug Jones. Steve Kline. Sometimes, all it takes is the bullpen gates to open for the booing to begin.

Danys Baez was serenaded with a loud chorus of boos after walking two batters in the ninth inning of Friday night's 8-3 win. Stewart drove in a run with a bloop single into right field, and the crowd grew more agitated until Baez, no longer the setup man, got the final out.

"I have a lot of respect for the fans," he said. "They pay to see the team win. Sometimes you're not doing your job. And remember, they signed me to a three-year deal to help this team win. I'll be there trying to do the best I can."

The jeers seemed to bother Perlozzo more than Baez.

"I don't like that," Perlozzo said. "I talked to Danys a little bit and he says he can handle anything like that, and he'll be out there anytime I need him."

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