Play it again -- Rangers 2, Orioles 1

The Baltimore Sun

Key swing

Daniel Cabrera appeared to be cruising through the sixth inning before one bad pitch cost him a scoreless inning and eventually the game. Rangers leadoff man Kenny Lofton, who started his first game in the series after sitting out the first two with a sore knee, crushed Cabrera's 2-0 inside fastball into the right-field seats. Lofton's home run, his sixth of the season, traveled 380 feet and broke a 1-1 tie. It was the 17th homer Cabrera has allowed this season, three more than his career high.

Effectively wild

Early on, Cabrera looked as if he were headed for another maddening outing as he allowed three of the first four Rangers he faced to connect for base hits. That stretch included Marlon Byrd's single, which tied the game at 1. But Cabrera got out of the inning with no further damage, did the same in the second after walking two batters and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. In six innings, Cabrera allowed 11 base runners. But he limited the Rangers to two runs to turn in the quality start.

Missed chances

In what was a microcosm of the first half of their season, the Orioles left eight on base and were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The Orioles had the bases loaded in the sixth inning with two outs after Brian Roberts singled and Kevin Millar and Aubrey Huff walked. But Jay Payton grounded into a fielder's choice. They loaded the bases in the eighth, as Nick Markakis singled, Millar reached on an error and Huff walked. But Payton grounded into an inning-ending double play on Frank Francisco's first pitch.

On deck

The Orioles packed up and many went their separate ways after yesterday's game, the last of the season's first half. Roberts and assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel were the only two Orioles headed to San Francisco for tomorrow's All-Star Game. Regular-season play resumes Thursday when the Orioles start a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards with Jeremy Guthrie (4-2, 2.74) on the mound.

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