ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Orlando Cabrera reached base safely in
his 59th straight game Sunday for the longest such streak since
Orlando Cabrera reached base safely in his 59th straight game Sunday in the Angels' victory over the Dodgers. While the "consecutiveness" of Cabrera's streak is noteworthy, his .376 on-base percentage during the streak is rather pedestrian. In fact, over the life of his streak (since April 25), no fewer than 71 major leaguers (with a minimum of 100 plate appearances) have higher on-base percentages than Cabrera.• For more Elias Says, Click here.
He celebrated by stealing home for the first time he can
remember.John Lackey pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings and matched a career
high with 10 strikeouts, Vladimir Guerrero homered, and the Los
Angeles Angels beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0.But it was Cabrera, better known as a slick-fielding shortstop
than an offensive force, who drew the most attention afterward."It's crazy to me that I'm doing it," Cabrera said regarding
his streak. "Joe DiMaggio got a 56-game hitting streak. How sick
is that? [Barry] Bonds, [Derek] Jeter, those guys who hit .300,
they walk a lot. I've never walked a lot."Cabrera is hitting .299 with five homers and 44 RBI. He's
walked 29 times and been hit by pitches twice."He's on a great streak, we know that," Angels manager Mike
Scioscia said. "We're still trying to find out where he is on the
[all-time] list. Needless to say, it's incredible."The major league record is 84 games by Ted Williams, but
research has shown that nobody has a better streak than Cabrera's
in the last 46 years. Bonds reached base safely in 58 straight
games three years ago.Cabrera hit a two-out double off rookie Chad Billingsley (0-2)
in the third to end an 0-for-10 drought, but that hadn't stopped
him from continuing to reach base via a hit, walk or hit by pitch
at least once in every game since April 24th.Chone Figgins took third on Cabrera's liner down the right-field
line, and scored when J.D. Drew booted the ball. Cabrera took third
on the error and then caught Billingsley napping by taking off from
third and scoring without a throw.Guerrero was batting at the time. He knew what was coming."After the first pitch, Orlando openly told me, 'This guy's
doing something that's giving me a chance, so please get out of the
way," Guerrero said through a translator. "I always look to the
third base coach. I saw Orlando, he said a word or two in Spanish.
His hand gesture was really enough."Cabrera said he noticed that Billingsley, making his fourth
major league start, paused before every pitch.Cabrera said he had never stolen home before, and wouldn't have
tried it had Guerrero not looked at him."Apparently, he told Vladdy," Lackey said with a chuckle.
"It's something you want to do. Vladdy could have killed him."Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said that wouldn't happen again
because Billingsley will pitch from the stretch position in the
future with a runner at third."When he goes into his windup, he has this routine where he
steps back and looks down," Martin said. "I guess Cabrera picked
it up because as soon as he put his head down, Cabrera took off.
And by the time he picked his head up, Cabrera was already starting
to slide. So we didn't really have a chance."Lackey (6-5) scattered four hits before being relieved by Scot Shields with two outs and one on in the seventh. Lackey, who threw
108 pitches on a hot day, was taken out after issuing his only walk
of the game.The win was the second straight for the Angels over the Dodgers
after they were outscored 37-8 while losing four in a row to their
local rivals.The Dodgers finished their interleague schedule with a 5-10
record after losing five of their final six games. The Angels were
an AL-worst 7-11 in interleague action.Guerrero hit his 17th homer in the sixth to make it 3-0. The
Angels got their final run later in the inning on a two-out
throwing error by shortstop Rafael Furcal.Billingsley allowed four hits and four runs -- two earned -- while
walking four, striking out three and throwing 91 pitches. He has
issued 17 walks in 22 innings.Plate umpire Derryl Cousins had to leave the game after being
struck in his left elbow by an inside pitch thrown by Shields that
struck out Martin to end the top of the seventh, and was taken to a
hospital for precautionary X-rays.It appeared that Angels catcher Mike Napoli missed the ball
completely as Martin swung and missed. First base umpire Tim
Timmons took over behind the plate.
Cabrera has reached base safely in 74 of 78 games this
season. ... Furcal's error was his 18th of the season -- three more
than he committed all of last year. ... Cabrera's stolen base was
the first straight steal of home for an Angels player since Tony
Phillips accomplished the feat on June 28, 1997, at Seattle. ...
Dodgers 1B Nomar Garciaparra, the NL batting leader, doubled in the
ninth to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 14 games. ...
The Angels lost the season series to the Dodgers for the first time
since 1999 -- two years after interleague play began. ... Dodgers
INF Cesar Izturis hit a two-out single in the third to end an
0-for-19 slump. ... The game was played before a crowd of 44,223 --
the Angels' 18th sellout in 42 home dates this season. All three
games of this series were sellouts.