Cabrera posted a 1-over-par 72 to follow up his remarkable opening-round 63 and is still in control as he goes into the weekend with a four-shot lead, at 7-under, at the season-ending Volvo Masters in Spain.
Justin Rose, Fredrik Jacobson and Philip Price are in a three way tie for sixth at 2-under, five strokes off the pace.
Cabrera was in position to run away with the tournament but a costly double bogey on the par-5 17th brought the field back into fold.
Two birdies on the front side, at the third and seventh, got Cabrera to 10-under before committing his first bogey of the tournament at the par-4 10th. He quickly followed up with a birdie at the next hole to get it back to minus-10.
Cabrera began to struggle starting with a bogey on the 13th. He then rolled in a long putt on the 14th just to save par and had to chip in from off the green to again save par on the par-3 15th.
On the 17th he wasn't so fortunate as his ball found the water guarding the green. He missed a putt for bogey and settled for a double that dropped him to 7-under.
Garcia admittedly putted well but couldn't get enough to fall in his 1-under-par round of 70. Though not a great day, the young Spaniard now trails Cabrera by only four.
Monty, clinging to hopes of continuing his streak of at least one win per season for the 10th straight year, finished strong with a backside 32 to climb into contention. He, too, is only four back of Cabrera.
Karlsson, the tall Swede who captured the European Masters earlier in the year, put together a solid round of four birdies and no bogeys for a 4-under 67. He finished fourth here last year.
Retief Goosen and Padraig Harrington, who were supposed to put on a fireworks display as they battled for the Order of Merit, have both appeared to fizzle out.
Goosen had his second over-par round and is 5-over after two days. Harrington ballooned to a Friday 76 that followed his Thursday 74 to end up at 8-over-par for the tournament.
Other notables include Darren Clarke, Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal each finishing at even-par heading into the weekend.
Full-field scores from Volvo Masters