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Cobb shuts down Mariners to dodge sweep

Alex Cobb helped end the Giants losing streak as the offense got some much needed breaks in 2-0 win

MLB: Seattle Mariners at San Francisco Giants Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Cobb pitched 6 shutout innings in the San Francisco Giants 2 - 0 win against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, helping to avoid a series sweep at home and to pump the brakes on the team’s four game losing streak.

Cobb maybe didn’t have his best stuff but he made up for it with a veteran will to attack the zone and force Seattle hitters to earn their knocks. The knocks certainly came but Cobb scattered them, allowing 6 hits while issuing 0 free bases and striking out 7 over the start.

The right-handed starter penned only one 1-2-3 inning—a 2 K 4th—freezing both Mike Ford and Eugenio Suárez on slippery, elevated sinkers.

Both Cal Raleigh and Julio Rodríguez doubled to lead-off the 5th and 6th innings, but in each instance, Cobb was able to limit the threat by striking out the next batter, keeping the Mariners from constructing a scoring opportunity with productive outs. It also helps when there’s a solid defense behind you, something that wasn’t exactly there in Cobb’s last start in New York.

With Thairo Estrada on the IL, Casey Schmitt made the start at second and was excellent, looking comfortable tracking down flares into the shallow outfield and showing off soft hands on a consequential play in the 5th that preserved San Francisco’s fragile 1-run lead.

With Raleigh on second, shortstop J.P. Crawford smoked a 3-1 splitter destined towards right field. A 108 MPH, two-skipper forced Schmitt to his left. It kicked up near the cut of the outfield grass, and Schmitt slid into it, instinctively pulled his mitt up and picked the ball from the air before spinning around and throwing Crawford out.

As a team, the Mariners went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 6 on base.

In his 16th start, Cobb recorded his 5th scoreless outing and lowered his ERA to 2.91, fifth best in the National League. Relievers Rogers, Rogers, and Doval combined for 3 scoreless innings in relief.

A win is a win, but it wasn’t a convincing one for Giants hitters. In case you haven’t heard, they’re in a funk.

Bats mustered just 2 runs (1 earned) against soft-thrower Tommy Milone and four Seattle relievers, going 0-for-8 with RISP. Even while working 4 walks, 4 hits and 0 strikeouts against Milone and his 87 MPH fastball, San Francisco’s offense was mostly subsidized by lucky breaks.

With a runner on first and one out in the 3rd, Wilmer Flores got jammed on an inside fastball that rolled directly into the third base bag, popping over the outstretched glove of Jose Caballero and rolling into left field. Instead of a double-play ball or at least a groundout, the Giants had runners at the corners, setting up LaMonte Wade Jr.’s sacrifice fly.

In the 5th with Austin Slater and Flores at first and second, Wade launched a ball to the warning track in center. Settled under it, Rodríguez clanked the routine play, allowing Slater to race around and score.

In a losing streak, one can’t be picky. Best not to overthink it: just accept the gifts and say ‘thank you’.

Off day tomorrow, and then weekend series against Colorado before the All-Star Break.