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Detroit at Baltimore

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Cabrera takes control for O's over Tigers in home opener

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- Nine straight losing seasons have severely diminished the Baltimore Orioles' fan base. Because attendance last year was the lowest since 1988, the current team has assumed the responsibility of restoring confidence in the struggling franchise.

The process began in earnest Monday, when the Orioles presented the city with an opener well worth the wait.

Daniel Cabrera allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings, Kevin Millar homered in a four-run third, and Baltimore launched the home portion of its schedule by defeating the Detroit Tigers 6-2.

"This is a great baseball city. We've got to win some games and win these fans over," Millar said. "This is a new club and we're excited about the things we can do this year. But we've got do that in the win column, and develop a swagger as a group."

Melvin Mora had two hits, scored a run and drove in one for the Orioles, who have won three of four after an 0-3 start. Brian Roberts, who came in batting .136 (3-for-22), went 2-for-4 and scored twice.

Cabrera (1-1) gave up seven hits and struck out five. He walked none -- a significant statistic given that he led the AL with 104 walks in 2006. He's 3-0 in five career starts against Detroit.

"I'm excited because it's my first time throwing on opening day," said Cabrera, who termed the start the most important of his four-year career.

Baltimore hadn't opened on the road in a year without a work stoppage since 1978; the arrival of the Washington Nationals changed that tradition. So, seven days later than usual, a sellout crowd of 48,159 showed up at Camden Yards to watch the team don its white uniforms for the first time.

The Orioles made it worth the wait.

"It's great to be back. It was like playing two weeks on the road, including that last week of spring training," Millar said. "This is our house, we enjoy coming here to play. It's nice to come home and play well."

Detroit, meanwhile, was held under five runs for the fourth time in six games this season.

"We haven't really swung the bats really well," manager Jim Leyland said. "In the last few games, we haven't had much going. Hopefully, that'll change."

Baltimore fell behind 1-0 in the second inning, but took control in the third and never let the defending AL champions back in the game.

"I was kind of hoping we'd get on the board early and get the fans on our side," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "I know that you don't just play a week's worth of baseball and expect everyone to jump on the bandwagon when we're sitting here at 3-4. We have a lot of proving to do.

"We feel like we're better, but the fact of the matter is we've got to get it done on the field. Hopefully we can do that, and can bring the fans back."

The fun began soon after former Oriole great Cal Ripken Jr. threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Cabrera retired the side in order in the first inning, and Baltimore went ahead for good in the third against Chad Durbin (0-1).

Millar got the Orioles started with his second homer in two days, a shot to right on Durbin's first pitch of the inning. Corey Patterson then got an infield hit, stole second and scored on a single by Roberts. Mora followed with a run-scoring double and came home on a bloop single by Miguel Tejada.

Baltimore chased Durbin during a two-run fifth. Roberts led off with an infield hit and scored on a two-out single by Aubrey Huff. Jay Gibbons then greeted Wilfredo Ledezma with an RBI double.

Making his first start in the majors since 2004, Durbin yielded six runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. He had a 2.08 ERA during spring training but became the first Tigers starter to lose this season.

"I thought I'd be a lot more emotional, a lot more nervous than I was," Durbin said. "Maybe afterward I'll think about it. This is one game. I threw a lot of strikes and this is something to take into next game -- maybe just throw some better ones."

Detroit's second-inning run came on successive doubles by Magglio Ordonez and Sean Casey. The Tigers knocked out Cabrera in the eighth, using a single by Craig Monroe and a two-out triple by Curtis Granderson to make it 6-2.

Chad Bradford relieved Cabrera and retired four of five batters around a walk.

Notes

  • Detroit's Brandon Inge went 0-for-3 and is hitless in 20 at-bats this season.
  • The crowd was the second-largest for an opener in the 16-year history of Camden Yards.
  • Durbin is 0-3 with a 10.45 ERA in four appearances in Baltimore.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Daniel Cabrera limits the Tigers to two runs over 7 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.  (AP)
Daniel Cabrera limits the Tigers to two runs over 7 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks. (AP)

Players of the Game
Baltimore

D. Cabrera
IP 7.2
H 7
ER 2
BB 0
K 5
Baltimore

B. Roberts
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4011020 .292
Placido Polanco, 2B4020001 .423
Gary Sheffield, DH4000012 .143
Magglio Ordonez, RF4120000 .238
Carlos Guillen, SS3000102 .217
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000002 .320
Sean Casey, 1B3011000 .200
Craig Monroe, LF3110001 .176
Brandon Inge, 3B3000021 .000
Totals3227215  
Batting
2B - Magglio Ordonez (2, Cabrera), Sean Casey (1, Cabrera)
3B - Curtis Granderson (2, Cabrera)
RBI - Curtis Granderson (8), Sean Casey (1)
2-OUT RBI - Curtis Granderson (5), Sean Casey (1)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Guillen-Polanco-Casey
Detroit Tigers
Chad Durbin (L,0-1) 4.2966151 11.57
Wilfredo Ledezma 2.1100100 0.00
Jose Mesa 1000010 13.50
IBB - Millar by Wilfredo Ledezma
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Durbin 82-54, Wilfredo Ledezma 34-18, Jose Mesa 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Durbin 3-5, Wilfredo Ledezma 3-4, Jose Mesa 2-0
Batters Faced - Chad Durbin 23, Wilfredo Ledezma 9, Jose Mesa 3
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B4221000 .192
Melvin Mora, 3B4121001 .281
Nick Markakis, RF4000013 .276
Miguel Tejada, SS4121010 .241
Aubrey Huff, 1B4011021 .286
    Chris Gomez, 1B0000000 .250
Jay Gibbons, LF3011100 .227
    Freddie Bynum, LF0000000 .000
Kevin Millar, DH3111101 .200
Corey Patterson, CF4110014 .190
Paul Bako, C3000012 .133
Totals33610626  
Batting
2B - Melvin Mora (3, Durbin), Jay Gibbons (3, Ledezma)
HR - Kevin Millar (2, Durbin)
RBI - Brian Roberts (2), Melvin Mora (8), Miguel Tejada (3), Aubrey Huff (4), Jay Gibbons (4), Kevin Millar (4)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Tejada (1), Aubrey Huff (3), Jay Gibbons (1)
SB - Corey Patterson (2, 2nd base off Durbin/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - B. Roberts-Tejada-Huff, Tejada-B. Roberts-Huff
Baltimore Orioles
Daniel Cabrera (W,1-1) 7.2722050 3.07
Chad Bradford 1.1000100 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel Cabrera 122-72, Chad Bradford 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel Cabrera 8-8, Chad Bradford 3-1
Batters Faced - Daniel Cabrera 28, Chad Bradford 5
Game Information
Attendance - 48159
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 44
Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Gary Darling