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Orlando Cabrera homers in first AB for the RedSox


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In Orlando Cabrera's first ever AB in a RedSox uniform he hit a home run, but it wasn't on the first pitch like LoDuca :thumbup . Also, Cabrera did it on the road against the Twins so there wasn't all the magic in the stadium like there would have been if he did it at home... like LoDuca.




MINNEAPOLIS -- The new shortstop arrived about 90 minutes before game-time, took batting practice, met his new teammates and then hit third.


Not long after that, he pummeled a 361-foot homer to left in his first plate appearance for the Red Sox.


Make no mistake about it, Orlando Cabrera's career with the Red Sox began in whirlwind fashion.


With two outs in the top of the first, Cabrera jumped on a 2-1 pitch from Johan Santana and deposited it over the wall.


Just like that, Cabrera became the eighth player in the rich history of the Red Sox to homer in his first plate appearance for the club. The last Boston player to do so was Curtis Pride on Sept. 19, 1997, against the White Sox and current Red Sox closer Keith Foulke.


Less than 24 hours earlier, Cabrera was in Miami, where the Expos were playing the Marlins. But his life was uprooted and Cabrera couldn't be happier.


He finds himself smack in the middle of a pennant race.


"I'm really excited," said Cabrera, who played his first 904 games in the Major Leagues with the Expos. "This is a great organization, a great team, we're in contention to win. It can't get better than this. The fans in Boston are unbelievable, this is going to be great."


Cabrera knows that it is fruitless to try and match the accomplishments of predecessor Nomar Garciaparra. The two-time batting champion and five-time All-Star is now with the Cubs as part of the four-team exchange that brought Cabrera to Boston.


"I'm not trying to come out here and replace Nomar, that's a Hall of Famer," said Cabrera, who is wearing No. 36. "I'm just going to help my team win and try to go to the postseason."


He looks forward to playing in front of a packed house instead of the desolate crowds that were known to frequent Olympic Stadium.


"I think everybody was kind of tired, everybody's game was kind of low," said Cabrera, who entered the game hitting .246 with four homers and 31 RBIs.


Cabrera hopes that being around sluggers like Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz will help elevate his game back to the level it was at a year ago, when he had 17 homers and drove in 80 runs.


"This is the best opportunity I've had in my career so I'm going to take advantage of it," said the 29-year-old Cabrera.


The Sox are excited about Cabrera's glove at short and speed on the bases. Red Sox manager Terry Francona hasn't figured out Cabrera's regular slot in the lineup yet.


He was hitting third in this one because Ortiz dropped the appeal of his five-game suspension.


"The last time I saw him he was turning into a very good player," said Francona, who managed against Cabrera in the National League from 1997-2000. "I got to see it coming. He went from being a shortstop with some tools to a shortstop that produced runs in a lot of different ways, steal bases, home runs. Our hope is that, he was in Montreal, things weren't going real well. You get a player like that, you get him here, especially in Fenway, he'll be the player, not only that he was, but he'll be a good player. We think we really got a good player."

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