More in control
Returning from a six-game suspension, Daniel Cabrera looked like a different pitcher for the Orioles - except for the part about not winning. Cabrera left after seven innings with a 2-1 lead, but Kansas City Royals pinch hitter Mark Grudzielanek homered off reliever Jamie Walker leading off the eighth. Cabrera allowed six hits, walked three and struck out five. He mixed his pitches better, using his breaking ball and changeup more than manager Dave Trembley could remember. But he still hasn't won since Aug. 14.
Nick Markakis is making a mockery of the sophomore jinx. He came up big again last night, hitting a tie-breaking home run off Royals starter Gil Meche with one out in the eighth to produce a 3-2 victory. Markakis has 22 homers and 109 RBIs - the most for any second-year player in franchise history. He went down for a curveball and barely cleared the center-field fence, getting plenty of backspin on the ball. Trembley said he thought it was going to bounce off the wall.
Redman contributes again
Trembley already can envision Tike Redman as his fourth outfielder next season. Redman, meanwhile, is doing a fine job as the starting center fielder. Playing again while Corey Patterson recovers from a sprained ankle, Redman doubled to break a scoreless tie in the fifth and made a lunging catch to end the seventh, stranding two runners and preserving a 2-1 lead. He misjudged a fly ball earlier in the game, breaking back before hustling in to make a running basket catch. It's not always pretty, but he gets the outs.
The Orioles begin another series after dispatching the Royals, playing three games against the Toronto Blue Jays. Brian Burres makes another start for the Orioles, and he seems more suited for the rotation. He defeated the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Sept. 14, tossing seven scoreless innings. Toronto counters with A.J. Burnett. The Blue Jays lost two of three the last time they played the Orioles.