SAN FRANCISCO – After an uplifting opening game of this series and a Baltimore win by 3-2 Friday night, by mid-game tonight the Orioles were down three runs and one player. It didn’t go as well as last night.
Right-hander Alex Cobb got rolling against his former team while his current one scored three runs in the last of third and beat the Orioles 4-0 in front of 32,416 at Oracle Park. The series, now tied 1-1, will be decided here tomorrow afternoon.
Orioles rookie infielder Gunnar Henderson left tonight’s game when he was replaced by Ramón Urías, who went to third base for the last of the third. The team announced that Henderson exited due to lower back discomfort.
Henderson, who hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning last night, batted once tonight and struck out on a Cobb splitter in the top of the second. He entered tonight hitting .203/.330/.386/.716 with six homers and 15 RBIs.
The injury might have occurred when Henderson, from third base, threw out Mitch Haniger on a grounder in the last of the second. The MASN cameras showed Henderson grimacing after the play.
Henderson’s bat was slowly trending up over the course of the season, and he had a .740 OPS in May, when nine of his 17 hits went for extra bases. Manager Brandon Hyde said Henderson put his “best swing of the year” on the home run last night.
Meanwhile, Cobb, who was 7-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 13 career starts over the years against the Orioles, threw well against them again tonight.
He allowed just five hits - three singles and two doubles - over 7 2/3 innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. Cobb improved to 5-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.71 with a 103-pitch outing.
The game marked the sixth time this season that Cobb went seven innings or more, and he delivered his sixth quality start. The Orioles went 5-for-27 against the veteran.
Cobb who has an ERA of 1.43 at home this year, is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA over his last four starts against the Orioles.
Right-hander Kyle Bradish got the start for the Orioles tonight, coming off an excellent start against Texas. He had a 2.22 ERA over his past four games.
He pitched two scoreless innings tonight and got Brandon Crawford looking to start the last of the third. Then five straight Giants reached, and they scored three runs.
Baltimore native LaMonte Wade Jr. doubled to left and scored on a flared single to right by J.D. Davis. Mike Yastrzemski’s double to right-center left runners on second and third. Wilmer Flores, with a ground single to center, scored both for the 3-0 lead. He hit a 1-2 fastball for the two-run base hit. A leaping catch at the fence in center by Aaron Hicks prevented further damage, but the Orioles were in a 3-0 hole.
And they were not getting much going against the former O’s right-hander. Cobb did not allow a runner to get into scoring position until Adam Frazier’s two-out double to left in the sixth. But Adley Rutschman grounded out to strand Frazier at second.
The Orioles' best chance to score came with they stranded two runners in scoring position in the top of the eighth. With one out, Aaron Hicks singled and advanced to third on Ryan O'Hearn's double to left. The Giants went to their bullpen, and reliever Scott Alexander got Frazier on a comebacker to the mound.
The Orioles fall to 36-22 and are four games behind division-leading Tampa Bay, which split a doubleheader today. The Birds are 19-10 on the road and now are 10-10 all time against the Giants, who got back to the .500 mark at 29-29.
The Orioles were shut out for the fifth time this season, all coming over the last 29 games since May 3.
In the series finale Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET, right-hander Tyler Wells (3-2, 3.29 ERA) faces Giants righty Anthony DeSclafani (4-4, 3.48 ERA).
Henderson update: After the game, manager Brandon Hyde addressed the Henderson injury.
"He's just got some lower back soreness. Took him out for precaution. He's just day-to-day right now. It's been just kind of lingering the last few days and tried to play through it. Beginning of the game just made it more sore.
"These things happen. He'll be fine."
Hyde on Cobb: "Well, he had three pitches going. Good fastball with a lot of life and movement. Good split-finger that we had a tough time elevating on him. Good breaking ball. Not a ton of hard contact and he had really good stuff tonight. We had a tough time squaring him up."
Hyde, after the game, said Kyle Gibson would start Tuesday's series opener at Milwaukee. Meaning that, for now, the O's skip the turn that was taken by Keegan Akin followed by Austin Voth on Wednesday versus Cleveland.