With another rocky effort in the first game of yesterday's doubleheader, Orioles right-hander Daniel Cabrera is leading pitching's dubious Triple Crown.
Cabrera walked five in 5 1/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins, giving him 90 for the year and the slight advantage over the Boston Red Sox's Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has 88 walks.
With the bump in free passes, Cabrera leads the American League in walks, hit batters (18) and wild pitches (14).
It's just one more ignominy in a terrible second half for Cabrera.
After giving up seven hits and four runs (three earned), Cabrera has just two wins and a 7.56 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break.
"Walked five. They hit him. I don't know what to tell you [about Cabrera]," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said after the 12-2 loss. "I don't know what to say. I'm not trying to skirt the issue. I don't know what to tell you. I don't have an answer."
The Twins' three-run third was a microcosm of Cabrera's past two months. In a 23-pitch inning, he faced eight batters, allowed a home run, walked a batter, threw a wild pitch and didn't field his position well when he failed to complete a potential inning-ending double play by not stepping on first base.
He threw 62 pitches through three innings and ended with 95. He was again throwing his fastball at 90-92 mph, and he struck out just one batter.
In his past three games, Cabrera has walked 14 and struck out two.
Because of postponements, the Orioles have two doubleheaders in 11 days, including yesterday's against the Twins.
Even though they have more players available in September than in other months, Trembley said it's more challenging to set doubleheader lineups late in the season.
"When you don't have as many people to consider, the lineup takes care of itself," Trembley said. "There's probably more explanation that needs to take place because there are going to be guys that don't play or aren't playing enough or want to play both or some guys don't want to play both.
"There are more things you have to discuss. There are more lines of communication that need to be open. That's OK, that's my job."
Here's an example: When it was announced Friday that the Orioles would be playing a doubleheader yesterday, closer George Sherrill, fresh off the disabled list, came into Trembley's office and asked whether he would be allowed to pitch in both games if the situation allowed it.
"I said, 'George, come on. Gosh darn no, you are not going to close both games,' " Trembley said with a laugh.
Hurricane Ike concern
While playing with the Houston Astros, Orioles left fielder Luke Scott spent three years living with a host family between Houston and Galveston, Texas. In the wake of Hurricane Ike's barrage on Texas, Scott called the family to see how things were.
"They left. They are gone. They are OK," he said. "But they don't know about their house."
Scott, who lives in Florida and has experienced his share of hurricanes, has attempted to contact some other friends in Houston.
"I've tried a couple times, but some of the Houston numbers are down."
Bass starts again
Brian Bass, who allowed three runs (one earned) in 4 1/3 innings Thursday against the Indians in his first major league start, will get another chance. Trembley said Bass would start Wednesday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
"Bass pitched good enough the other day to put him back out there," he said.
Around the horn
In yesterday's opener, Melvin Mora made his first start at third base since injuring his hamstring Aug. 29. He was supposed to start there Friday, but was scratched because of wet conditions before the game was canceled. ... Gulf Coast League Orioles shortstop Garabez Rosa was named GCL Player of the Month for August after hitting .370 two homers and 15 RBIs.
Spots in which Ramon Hernandez has hit in the lineup this season