SF Giants’ Alex Cobb exits crucial start vs. D-backs in third inning

PHOENIX — The Giants understood the stakes at hand in this two-game series against the Diamondbacks. Win both and 2½-game gap in the wild card standings would be almost entirely erased; a split would clinch the season series and secure a potentially important tiebreaker.

That factored in as much as the added days of rest for Alex Cobb’s troublesome hip when they chose to push his scheduled start back from Saturday in Colorado to Tuesday’s series opener in Arizona. It’s hard to imagine the decision backfiring worse.

Cobb walked off the mound after throwing two pitches in the third inning Tuesday night, clearly bothered by the impingement in his left hip. He had already allowed five runs, and after escaping the second on his 33rd pitch of the inning, hung his head while he grabbed at the hip as he returned to the dugout.

Cobb returned to the mound to start the third but looked to be in discomfort throughout his warm-up pitches. He was clearly in pain after his second pitch of the inning, prompting manager Gabe Kapler and trainer Dave Groeschner to make their way to the mound. A short conversation ensued, and Kapler called on Alex Wood while Groeschner escorted Cobb back to the dugout.

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