Cobb dazzles, Flores provides 2-run single as Giants blank Orioles
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Alex Cobb spent every waking moment between starts pondering his mechanics and what had go so wrong his last start.
During family time, he thought about pitching. It kept him up at night, and he woke in the morning with his delivery on the mind.
“Coming off my last outing I just was a little bit lost,” he said. “When you have those types of outings, you just kind of run the mechanics through your mind over and over until you get an another opportunity.”
Cobb found some rhythm and struck out seven over 7 2/3 scoreless innings to bounce back from his worst outing of the season, Wilmer Flores hit a two-run single and also doubled among his three hits, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-0 on Saturday night to end a three-game skid.
J.D. Davis added an RBI single in the decisive third inning against Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish (2-2) and pinch-hitter Austin Slater gave the Giants another run-scoring single in the sixth.
Cobb (5-2) allowed two straight one-out hits in the eighth, including Ryan O'Hearn's double that put runners on second and third. San Francisco's veteran right-hander recorded the second out, then gave way to Scott Alexander and walked off to a standing ovation, tipping his cap.
Alexander missed fielding Adam Frazier's comebacker, but got to the ball and made an awkward throw to first from the ground for the final out. Camilo Doval finished the five-hit shutout.
Cobb was coming off a loss May 28 at Minnesota in which he was tagged for seven runs on seven hits in four innings and walked four. He is now 8-2 over 14 career outings against his former Orioles club.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler has praised Flores for staying ready for any role despite wishing he was playing regularly.
“As I mentioned pregame, he's maybe the best teammate out there, totally selfless, understands the situation, doesn't necessarily like that he's not getting regular playing time right now,” Kapler said.
Bradish lost for the first time in seven starts since April 25 to Boston but had just one decision during that stretch, beating the Angels on May 17. The right-hander struck out five and walked one over four innings, allowing three runs on seven hits facing the NL West for the first time. Bradish took his first interleague defeat after going 2-0 over his initial six outings against the National League.
Baltimore rookie third baseman Gunnar Henderson exited after the bottom of the second with lower back discomfort a night after his go-ahead home run in a 3-2 victory — the Orioles' majors-leading 20th comeback win of 2023. Manager Brandon Hyde said the sore back had been lingering and Henderson is day to day.
Two years ago at Class-A Aberdeen, Henderson tried to change something with his swing every day and it led to an 0-for-31 funk. The 21-year-old Orioles star still reflects on how he fought through that rough patch and came out better for it.
“When I started going through it this year, I didn’t really go down that path because then you just double up on what’s making you struggle,” he said. “That was the biggest thing, just trusting that it will come around. It might take a little bit longer than you think but just don’t go down the rabbit hole of changing something every day just to feel good.”
In Friday's 3-2 win, he delivered the biggest hit yet for the Orioles in his young major league career with a go-ahead homer in the seventh.
Giants: DH Joc Pederson began a rehab assignment with Class-A San Jose. Manager Gabe Kapler didn't rule him out being ready to return with the Giants by Sunday. ... OF Michael Conforto was again available off the bench as he nurses a bruised left heel that forced him out of Tuesday’s game against the Pirates.
The Orioles purchased the contract of INF/OF Josh Lester from Triple-A Norfolk and placed LHP Danny Coulombe on the bereavement list. Baltimore transferred RHP Dillon Tate (elbow flexor strain in pitching arm) to the 60-day injured list. Coulombe is expected back for the series opener Tuesday at Milwaukee.
RHP Tyler Wells (3-2, 3.29 ERA) pitches the series finale for the Orioles facing the NL West for the first time in his career, going opposite Giants RHP Anthony DeSclafani (4-4, 3.48).