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‘A Good Run’ for Cabrera

Times Staff Writer

Babe Ruth never did this.

Ted Williams is the all-time leader in on-base percentage, at .482. Ruth is second, at .474. But Ruth never reached base in 63 consecutive games, as the Angels’ Orlando Cabrera did.

Cabrera’s streak ended Friday as the sixth-longest in major league history. Williams holds three of the top five streaks, including the record of 84. Joe DiMaggio has one of the other two streaks longer than Cabrera’s.

“It was a good run,” Cabrera said Saturday. “With all the greatest players to have played the game, to even be on that list is crazy. But it’s nice.”

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Cabrera entered the season with a career on-base percentage of .315. He was at .353 for the season before Saturday’s game.

“It’s just crazy, me doing that kind of stuff,” he said. “I’m a free-swinging hitter. Reaching base every day? It was hard to believe I was doing it.”

He said he was satisfied with the streak but relieved it had ended and thankful for the coaches and teammates who congratulated him after Friday’s game -- the same ones, he said, who would not discuss the streak during the game for fear of jinxing him.

“At some point, it’s got to be over,” he said. “I don’t think anything can be forever.”

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The streak drew the attention of opposing players. When Cabrera reached base Thursday, he said, Oakland first baseman Dan Johnson asked him how he did it.

“Man, when I get, like, three days in a row, I’m so happy,” Johnson told Cabrera.

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The A’s might be in first place now, but Angels television analyst and former major leaguer Rex Hudler said in a radio interview Saturday that Oakland would not win the American League West.

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“The Oakland A’s will fall flat and hard,” said Hudler, noting Oakland’s offensive troubles. The A’s have scored the fewest runs of any team in the league and have the lowest batting average of any team in the majors.

“How they’re in first place, I have no idea,” he said, “but they will not finish in first.”

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Commissioner Bud Selig said he does not plan to announce the site of any future All-Star games during this week’s All-Star festivities in Pittsburgh. The Angels have lobbied for a game since Disney completed a $118-million stadium renovation in 1998.

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“They’re going to get a game,” a high-ranking baseball source said. “It’s a question of when.”

The Angels have played host to the game twice, in 1967 and 1989. *

John Lackey just bought a home in Newport Beach, and he’ll spend next week there. Despite Lackey’s 7-5 record with a 2.88 earned-run average that is second in the league, the All-Star game will go on without him.

“I’d like to go,” he said. “That’s one of my goals. I’d like to do that at least once before I get done.”

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The Angels plan for Lackey to start the first game after the All-Star break, Friday against Tampa Bay.... Third baseman Dallas McPherson and first baseman Casey Kotchman could start minor league rehabilitation assignments within a week, Manager Mike Scioscia said.... ESPN has chosen the Angels’ July 30 game at Boston for its national Sunday night broadcast.


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