The resurgent Cabrera will try to extend his 16-inning scoreless streak when the Orioles wrap up a three-game series with the Rangers on Thursday.
Cabrera (7-8, 4.63 ERA) tossed a five-hitter with a season high-tying 10 strikeouts in a 15-0 rout on Aug. 19. He followed that on Friday by limiting Tampa Bay to five hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings of a 4-0 win.
“I feel great. I’ve never had 16 innings straight with no runs,” Cabrera said. “I’m working hard with (pitching coach) Leo Mazzone all the time in the bullpen, throwing. Everything’s coming out. Sometimes, it takes time to do it.”
He was sent to Triple-A Ottawa after a loss to Texas on July 13, his fifth in six starts. Since his recall, the right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA and has allowed only one earned run in that span.
Cabrera leads the AL with 86 walks, but has issued only 11 since his return to the majors.
“It’s just a matter of him pitching with confidence, and that’s what he’s doing right now,” manager Sam Perlozzo said. “He really looks focused to me.”
Cabrera is 1-3 with a 6.08 ERA in five career starts against the Rangers.
The Orioles (60-72) beat the Rangers 7-4 in 10 innings on Wednesday for their ninth victory in 13 games. Nick Markakis set a team record for homers in a month by a rookie with his ninth, and newly acquired catcher Danny Ardoin’s RBI single capped a three-run 10th.
“This is about as good as we’ve been playing all year,” Gibbons said. “It’s been a frustrating season and it would have been easy to lay down. But we don’t want to lay down. We want to finish strong.”
Ardoin, picked up on waivers from Colorado earlier in the day, will likely start the finale. Perlozzo said Ramon Hernandez wouldn’t be available after pulling a rib cage muscle in the ninth inning.
The Rangers (68-66) have dropped six of nine, putting their postseason hopes in jeopardy. Texas starts play 9 1/2 games behind AL West-leading Oakland.
“We know our chances are slim,” said shortstop Michael Young, who went 0-for-5. “We know we have to win every game. We had chances to win it but they made pitches and we didn’t get it done.”
Adam Eaton (3-4, 5.17) will try to avoid his third straight defeat for the Rangers. He lasted only three innings Saturday against the A’s, allowing four runs and six hits with four walks in a 5-3 loss.
“I’m not staying on line and making good pitches when I need to,” said Eaton, who did not make his season debut until July 25 after undergoing finger surgery. “I’m not able to get into any kind of rhythm.”
The right-hander has never faced the Orioles.
Left fielder Carlos Lee continues to be a disappointment for Texas since being acquired from Milwaukee on July 28. After hitting 28 homers in 102 games with the Brewers, he has just one his last 17 games and three in 31 contests with his new team.