The Rockies' No. 16 prospect struck out a career-high 13 and gave up a run on two hits over 6 2/3 innings in his Pacific Coast League debut as Colorado Springs beat Sacramento, 5-3.
Cabrera did not allow a hit until Kila Ka'aihue singled to open the fifth inning. The 24-year-old left-hander allowed a one-out single to Ka'aihue in the seventh and was lifted after fanning Shane Peterson for the second out of the inning after throwing 114 pitches.
"I was locating all my pitches, the fastball, curveball and changeup, I was throwing them whenever I wanted them," Cabrera said through teammate Hernan Iribarren.
Prior to Monday night, Cabrera's last start came in the Majors, when he allowed seven runs over 2 2/3 innings for the Rockies on June 27. While the results were disappointing, Cabrera took a lot from the experience.
"I learned that I can not get under the hitters," Cabrera said. "I just got in my mind to start working on getting ahead of the count. That's what I'm working on right now and I know, in the future, in the big leagues not to do that.
"I feel bad because I was trying to help the team but it was good for me to get to the big leagues, I'm going to try to work hard to get back."
Cabrera, who led the Minor Leagues in strikeouts in 2011, fanned a then career-high 12 on April 30, 2011 for Class A Asheville. Coming on the heels of his time in the bigs, he was pleased with how Monday progressed.
"They told me to work on something and I accomplished everything that I was told," Cabrera said. "So I'm pretty happy about it and I'm trying to keep doing what I'm doing."
Cabrera made 15 starts in the Double-A Texas League, where he was 8-4 with a 2.94 ERA for Tulsa. Overall, the Dominican native has fanned 95 batters over 104 2/3 Minor League innings this season.
Jim Torres took over for Cabrera and gave up two hits, including Stephen Parker's RBI single, but fanned Jermaine Mitchell to end the frame. Carlos Torres gave up a hit and struck out three in the eighth, and Zach Putnam surrendered two runs on two hits in the ninth.
Tim Wheeler, Colorado's No. 6 prospect, slugged a two-run homer, his first for the Sky Sox, and Chad Tracy also hit a two-run shot.
Parker plated a pair of runs, while Ka'aihue scored twice in his third straight multi-hit game for the River Cats.