Alex Cobb lasted only two innings tonight, his shortest start with the Orioles, and it wasn’t due to ineffectiveness or a soaring pitch count.
Cobb has been receiving treatment for a blister on his right middle finger and the cut must have opened up again.
Mike Wright Jr. began to warm in the Orioles bullpen after Cobb retired the side in order in the second inning on only nine pitches. Wright started the third inning and fell into immediate trouble, surrendering the game’s first three runs.
Pushed back from Sunday to tonight in order to provide more time for the finger to heal, Cobb got called third strikes on the first two Athletics that he faced before issuing a walk and allowing a single to Khris Davis.
Matt Olson grounded to second baseman Breyvic Valera on Cobb’s 21st pitch of the inning.
Two ground balls and a liner to right field got Cobb back to the dugout in rapid fashion in the second, but he was done for the night and manager Buck Showalter might need to adjust his rotation for the weekend series against the White Sox at Camden Yards.
Rain in the forecast already is causing him to consider various scenarios.
Cobb was forced out of a start in Minnesota on July 8 because of a blister on his right index finger. A blood blister developed on his middle finger.
“We’re calling it a blister but it’s more like a cut, a blood blister that turned into a cut and it started on my finger and gradually moved down,” Cobb said over the weekend after throwing on the side at Tropicana Field. He had a touch and feel session Saturday and a regular bullpen session on Sunday.
“After the last outing, we really kind of cut into it to get the flaking and the cut to try to even out a little bit so it wouldn’t keep doing it, and we got a lot of raw skin from it, so it needed to heal,” Cobb said.
Wright allowed three runs in the third inning after being struck on the back of the foot by Ramón Laureano’s sharp grounder up the middle. Wright recorded the out as Jonathan Lecroy, aboard after a leadoff walk, advanced to second base. He threw a couple of warm-up tosses to convince manager Buck Showalter and pitching coach Roger McDowell that he could continue, and Matt Chapman lined an RBI double to right field.
Jed Lowrie drew his second walk and Davis followed with a run-scoring single into left field. Olson struck out and Stephen Piscotty singled for a 3-0 lead.
Wright threw 30 pitches in the inning to match Cobb’s total. Yefry Ramírez began to warm and could be the next man up.
Adam Jones, back in the lineup and greeted with applause from a sparse crowd, led off the second inning with a single off Mike Fiers. He stole second base and was stranded.
Update: Villar homered to center field with one out in the sixth to reduce the lead to 3-1.
Update II: Villar’s two-out single in the eighth scored Breyvic Valera and cut the lead to 3-2.
Update III: The Orioles lose to the A’s 3-2. They fall to 41-103 overall and 24-45 at home.