04/18/08 11:55 PM ET
Seven-run sixth carries O's past Yanks
Cabrera effective over six-plus innings in earning first victory
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
Baltimore started the eventful sixth inning with a pair of singles, and left fielder Luke Scott pushed the Orioles ahead for good with a run-scoring hit off New York starter Phil Hughes. Center fielder Adam Jones knocked Hughes out with another hit, and pinch-hitter Jay Payton and third baseman Melvin Mora both drilled two-run singles off the road team's bullpen.
"We feed off each other's successes," said Scott, who has hit in six straight games and has seven multi-hit games this year. "Everyone is genuinely pulling for each other in that lineup and in that dugout. When you've got a feeling where everybody's got your back in the clubhouse and in management from top to bottom, it gives you that little extra push."
"We probably took a key from Wee Willie Keeler -- 'Hit them where they ain't,'" added Baltimore manager Dave Trembley. "They all count. There were no seeing-eye hits there. They were all on the barrel, [and] we used the whole field to hit. You turn the lineup over, you work the count, you do what you can do. You don't try to do too much."
The Orioles held a two-run lead when the Yankees went to their relief staff, and Baltimore firmly applied further pressure. Trembley elected to use Payton with the bases loaded, and the veteran came through with his third hit as a pinch-hitter in as many games. Leadoff man Brian Roberts grounded out, but Mora and Markakis both came through with two-out hits.
"It's not easy -- you're coming off the bench cold," said Payton of his pinch-hit heroics. "You've got to see usually the setup guy or the closer, especially late in the game. But you're just trying to get a hit. That's what we do. We go out there trying to get a bat on there, trying to get a hit. It's really not any different -- it's just one at-bat. That's it."
"It's a team game," Trembley said. "You've got to be ready. You've got to take advantage of the opportunities that you have. You've got to try to score as many runs as you can there. He's the right guy in the right spot. ... When you get those kinds of contributions from everybody, I think you've got something going in the right direction."
Daniel Cabrera was good enough to get the win, but he came out shortly after the go-ahead rally. Cabrera (1-0) allowed five hits in the first five innings, stranding two runners on base in the fifth inning and three in the sixth. The right-hander gave up a solo home run to catcher Chad Moeller in the seventh but left with Baltimore (10-7) ahead by six runs.
"The more run support you have, the more chance you can win the game," Cabrera said. "I'm just trying to throw strikes, have contact, put the ball in play and give a chance to the infield to make a play. That's what I've been trying to do."
Trembley credited Cabrera with throwing his offspeed stuff in hitters' counts and not collapsing when New York put pressure on him. The hulking right-hander overcame an error in the fifth inning to get two key ground balls and struck out center fielder Melky Cabrera with the bases loaded in the sixth to set up the game-breaking rally.
For Trembley, the performance was exactly what has been expected of Cabrera. The 26-year-old has teased the Orioles with potential for several seasons and is best known for losing 18 games last season and leading the league in walks.
"We're not going back to the way it was," said Trembley. "There's no reason in the world when this guy pitches [that] he can't give us seven or eight innings and dominate a ballgame and give not only himself but the club the feeling that we're going to win. ... I think it all starts with your mound presence, No. 1. No. 2, a solid delivery and the ability to repeat that. And No. 3, you have to command your fastball. Cabrera is 6-foot-9 and 270 [pounds].
"He has a presence about him when he's on the mound. He should not pitch defensively -- he should pitch offensively."
New York (9-9) had just one hit in the first three innings and wasted a chance to score in the fourth. Right fielder Bobby Abreu singled with one out and tried to come around to score on a hit by Hideki Matsui but was thrown out at home plate. Baltimore scored the game's first run in the fourth inning and broke open a tied game with its seven-run burst.
"I think the game has always been rather consistent," said Trembley. "The game is about pitching, and momentum usually is sparked by somebody doing something on the defensive end. It usually turns around something in your favor -- striking a guy out, getting a big out, making a key play. ... There are just two sides to the game."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.