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O's send struggling right-hander Cabrera to minors

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles optioned struggling
right-hander Daniel Cabrera to Triple-A Ottawa on Friday, hopeful
the move will enable him to regain a measure of confidence after
going six straight starts without a victory.

The 25-year-old Cabrera (4-7, 5.25 ERA) leads the majors with 75
walks and 13 wild pitches. After allowing four runs over 5 1/3
innings in a 15-1 loss to Texas on Thursday, he said, "I don't
know when's the last time I pitched a good game. It's just not
happening."

Cabrera went 12-8 as a rookie in 2004 and 10-13 last season, but
this year he's continually battled to find his control.

"Clearly, he'd been struggling. It's one of those things you
hope he goes down and gets a fresh start in a new environment,"
vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette said.
"Hopefully it's just a temporary move, [and] when he gets himself
back on track he'll be back up."

Cabrera will be replaced in the rotation by Adam Loewen, who was
sent to Ottawa on June 25, after going 0-2 with a 7.12 earned-run average with
Baltimore. Loewen earned a return trip by excelling in three starts
after his demotion, which is precisely what the Orioles would like
to see happen with Cabrera.

"That's what we're hoping," Duquette said. "Before Adam went
down we told him to force your way back, and he's done that. We
fully expect that Daniel will do the same thing."

For that to happen, Cabrera needs to get the ball over the plate
with a measure of consistency. While going 0-5 in six starts since
June 10, Cabrera walked 25 in 33 1/3 innings.

"We need him, we need this guy, so we'd like to get him in a
situation where he can relax a little bit, go back to basics and
hopefully work on his breaking ball and changeup, and command his
fastball," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said.

"We need to get Daniel with a clear mind," he added. "We need
to get him back on track so we can get him back up here because we
certainly need him."

Cabrera did not take the news of demotion well. He sat in front
of his locker, almost motionless, while several teammates gathered
to console him.

"He didn't look real happy, understandably," Perlozzo said.

Cabrera left the clubhouse without talking to the media.

"We're not trying to send a message to him," Duquette said.
"It's clearly one of those things we felt was purely in his best
interest to hopefully get him on track, because he's going to be a
big part of our future."

Cabrera wasn't the only player forced to clear out his locker on
Thursday. The Orioles optioned reliever Sendy Rleal to Ottawa and
called up Eddy Rodriguez to take his place on the roster.

Rleal was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 39 games. The rookie was a
surprise member of the opening day roster and performed well in the
early going, but allowed runs in five of his last eight
appearances.

"Lately, he wasn't getting his pitches as much," Perlozzo
said. "The problem became that the league started to get onto him.
He needs a breaking ball for right-handed hitters, and lefties
actually. We'd like to get him down there to work on the third
pitch to get him back going."

Rodriguez spent two weeks with the Orioles at the end of April,
going 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA in five appearances before being sent
back to Ottawa.

Loewen and Rodriguez were expected to join the Orioles on
Saturday.