for this game

Cabrera comes within two outs of Orioles' sixth no-hitter

Sep 29, 2006 - 2:10 AM BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- During an up-and-down season, Baltimore Orioles righthander Daniel Cabrera could not have been more up against the powerful New York Yankees.

Cabrera lost a bid for a no-hitter with one out in the ninth inning as the Orioles posted a 7-1 victory over the Yankees.

The 6-7 Cabrera (9-10) possesses outstanding stuff but has not been able to harness it for much of his brief career. He came in leading the major leagues with 17 wild pitches and second with 102 walks.

"It was great," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. "I think if you've been around us for a while and watched Daniel pitch, we've said it time and time again - he's got no-hit stuff" and one of these days he's going to throw a no-hitter. He was pretty darn close tonight. He really was. He was outstanding."

"I feel great," Cabrera said. "I'm happy. It's the best game I ever pitched."

Although Cabrera has the stuff to dominate games, he rarely has done so. He came into Thursday's game with a 10.50 ERA in his last four road starts and a 4.91 ERA in seven previous starts vs. the Yankees.

However, the 25-year-old was in complete control of the American League East Division champions, who scored 16 runs on five home runs in Wednesday's triumph.

"Well you know what's interesting, it's a good example of scoring 16 runs and thinking you can do anything against anybody," New York manager Joe Torre said. "And that just goes to continue to prove a low-pitched game will shut down any ball club."

But relying on mostly fastballs that reached 97 and 98 miles per hour in the late innings and facing a team getting ready for the postseason, the righthander turned in the best outing by an Oriole this season.

"He really had his velocity tonight," Perlozzo said. "That's probably his best velocity he's had in the last four or five starts. I think one thing about this is we got on the board early and made him relax.

"He fired the ball into the strike zone. When he got in trouble in the past, if he walked somebody or threw a ball he might take a little bit off to get the ball over and get hit.

Cabrera was two outs away from the sixth no-hitter in franchise history when Robinson Cano lined an 0-1 offering into left field, ending his bid to add his name to history.

Cano, who knows Cabrera from San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, had been hitless in nine previous at-bats. And in his previous at-bat, Cano led off the seventh by lining out to third baseman Melvin Mora.

"It was a really good pitch," Cabrera said. "It was a fastball inside. I think I made the right pitch. Cano is a good hitter."

"I got to go up there and do my job," Cano said. "I feel bad (because he had a no-hitter). But this is a game. He plays his game and I play my game. He's trying to get me out and I'm trying to get a hit."

Instead Cabrera finished with his third career complete game and Baltimore's 32nd one-hitter and first since current Yankee Mike Mussina on August 1, 2000 against Minnesota.

"I think he tried to give me the no-hitter," Cabrera joked. "I gotta to talk to him one day. "I know him too well. But I never think he's going to get that base hit in the bottom of the ninth. He's not my friend anymore."

After Cano's single, Bobby Abreu grounded into a game-ending double play as Cabrera became the first pitcher to toss a one-hitter against New York since Detroit's Mike Maroth on July 16, 2004.

"We knew we had our hands full with him because of his potential," Torre said. "He's not always as sharp as far as control but his stuff is dynamite. We knew that going in. Nobody took him for granted, thats for sure."

Baltimore's last no-hitter was tossed by Bob Milacki and three relievers on July 31, 1991 at Oakland. Had Cabrera finished the no-hitter, it would have been the first complete game no-hitter since current team broadcaster Jim Palmer did it August 13, 1969 against Oakland.

Cabrera walked two, struck out five and pitched around three errors by his teammates, including two in the seventh that accounted for New York's lone run.

With one out, second baseman Brian Roberts was unable to handle a tough hop in short right field, allowing Abreu to reach. Abreu then advanced two bases on a pair of passed balls during an at-bat to Jason Giambi. He then scored when Mora misplayed a hard grounder at third from Gary Sheffield.

"I know that was an error," Mora said. "All three balls they hit were errors. I was just praying they give me an error. I want him to throw the no-hitter."

Batterymate Ramon Hernandez hit a pair of home runs. He gave Baltimore a 5-0 lead with a three-run shot to right field off Darrell Rasner (3-1) in the third and added a solo shot in the ninth.

Rasner, who was filling in for Randy Johnson, lasted just 2 1/3 innings and allowed five runs and five hits.

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