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Roberts, Cabrera Lead Orioles Past Twins

September 23, 2006

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Daniel Cabrera took a four-hitter into the seventh inning, Brian Roberts homered and drove in three runs, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins 7-3 on Friday night.

Torii Hunter scored twice for the Twins, who started the day a half-game behind Detroit in the AL Central and 5 1/2 games in front of the Chicago White Sox in the wild-card race.

Minnesota cut a four-run deficit to 5-3 and had runners on second and third in the seventh before rookie Brian Burres retired Nick Punto on a grounder for the third out.

Roberts and Melvin Mora hit RBI-singles off Juan Rincon to make it 7-3 in the eighth, dooming the Twins to a second straight loss for only the second time in September.

Nick Markakis had two RBIs and Miguel Tejada had three hits for the Orioles, who have won five of six. Tejada has a career-high 205 hits and is six short of matching Cal Ripken’s club record, set in 1983.

Cabrera (8-10) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out eight and walking three. The right-hander earned his first victory since Aug. 25 and improved to 5-1 with a 3.25 ERA lifetime against the Twins.

Minnesota starter Carlos Silva (10-14) gave up five runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings. He was 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his previous three starts.

After Minnesota’s Luis Castillo was thrown out at the plate in the first, singles by Roberts, Miguel Tejada and Jay Gibbons put Baltimore up 1-0 in the bottom of the inning.

An RBI-single by Jason Bartlett tied it in the second, but the Orioles scored three runs in their half. After Roberts hit a two-run homer, Mora singled and scored on a double by Markakis.

Baltimore made it 5-1 in the sixth. Jeff Fiorentino hit a leadoff double and Markakis ended Silva’s night with a two-out RBI-double.

The Twins chased Cabrera in the seventh, but were left wanting more. Rondell White hit an RBI-single, and Cabrera struck out Jason Tyner before walking Jason Bartlett. Burres gave up a run-scoring single to Castillo, and a double steal put the tying run at second. But Punto couldn’t deliver.

Notes: Markakis snapped a 2-for-19 slump with his second-inning double. ... Silva has allowed at least five earned runs in 14 of his 29 starts. ... Roberts’ three RBIs tied a season high. He did it once before.

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