Nobody would argue so far.
Cabrera earned his second win since he was called up from the minors last week, leading Baltimore over the Seattle Mariners 7-2 Tuesday night.
“In my mind, I’m going to pitch as good as I can to stay up here,” Cabrera said through a translator. “I listen to the older players, and the older players give me a lot of confidence.”
Larry Bigbie homered and drove in three runs for the Orioles, who won for only the fourth time in 23 games at Safeco Field.
Seattle has lost eight of nine, dropping to 13-25 and falling 12 games under .500 for the first time since Sept. 14, 1998.
Cabrera (2-0), a 6-foot-7 right-hander called up from Double-A Bowie last Thursday, allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He gave up homers to Raul Ibanez in the second and Bret Boone in the fifth.
“After the home runs, I figured I was throwing the ball up, so in my mind I had to throw the ball down,” Cabrera said. “That’s how you get groundballs in the infield.”
Orioles catcher Javy Lopez liked the 22-year-old pitcher’s poise.
“He was very comfortable and I let him pitch his game,” Lopez said. “What you saw was a pitcher who was pretty much in control. He looked pretty mature out there.”
Cabrera has a 1.42 ERA in 12 2-3 innings spanning two starts.
“I don’t see a scared kid at all,” teammate Jay Gibbons said. “I see a guy who looks like he’s been up here about 10 years.”
Seattle’s Rich Aurilia said Cabrera wasn’t overpowering, but he knew what he was doing.
“The kid pitched a good game,” Aurilia said. “He had his location and we really didn’t mount any offense.”
Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli hopes Bigbie’s homer turns his season around.
“He hasn’t been where he should be,” Mazzilli said. “He had some good at-bats tonight. Maybe that will jump-start him a little bit.”
Baltimore’s Melvin Mora, who leads the AL with a .377 batting average, went 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
Boone, who went 1-for-3, returned to Seattle’s starting lineup at second base after being held out for five games because of a strained left hip flexor. Ichiro Suzuki increased his hitting streak to 16 games with a fifth-inning single.
Baltimore built a 3-0 lead on Miguel Tejada’s RBI double in the first, and Bigbie’s RBI groundout and Mora’s run-scoring single in the second.
Garcia allowed five runs, seven hits and three walks in six innings.
“I think I had pretty good stuff, but they made me pitch tonight,” Garcia said.
Brian Roberts and Mora each hit an RBI single in the ninth.
Fans in Seattle, where Randy Johnson pitched from 1989-1998, cheered and applauded as the final inning of Johnson’s perfect game at Atlanta was shown on Safeco Field’s big screen. Johnson holds Mariners records for wins (130), shutouts (19), starts (266) and strikeouts (2,162), and he won the 1995 AL Cy Young Award with Seattle. He pitched the franchise’s first no-hitter in the Kingdome against Detroit on June 2, 1990. Mariners manager Bob Melvin, who was Arizona’s bench coach for two seasons before coming to Seattle, was rooting for Johnson. “That’s pretty impressive for a guy everyone thought was washed up last year,” Melvin said. … The Orioles are 3-1 against the Mariners this season. … Mariners DH Edgar Martinez did not start because of a sore back butwas used as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and struck out.