SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Cobb was one out away from throwing a no-hitter on Tuesday night night in a 6-1 win against the Cincinnati Reds at Oracle Park.
Spencer Steer broke up the no-hitter with two-outs and a walked batter on board with a double snared into center-right field that scored a run. But Cobb struck out Elly De La Cruz for the final out, on his 130th pitch, to secure a one-hit complete game.
For the fans who showed for a lazy Tuesday night game in late-August, it was clear Cobb was gunning for history by about the seventh inning. A collective glance at the scoreboard drew them all up from their feet and cheering — it was a full count, two outs against Nick Martini. Martini into a ground out to first baseman JD Davis.
For any other non-believer, a shot at a no-hitter became realer with one big play — the defensive gem signature to a feat like this. Two outs down, center fielder Austin Slater laid his entire body out to catch a shallow fly ball from Will Benson that came just inches from the grass. The Reds challenged the called out, and New York confirmed the call to a huge cheer from the crowd.
Until that one-out walk in the ninth inning, the only play separating Cobb from a perfect game bid — which would have been the Giants’ first since Matt Cain’s in 2012 — was a changed call.
Third baseman Casey Schmitt grabbed a tricky ground ball down the line and hurled it to first baseman J.D. Davis a second after the batter, Nick Senzel, reached the base. The play was initially called a hit, then changed by the official scorer to an error on Schmitt. Senzel was the only Red to reach base until that ninth inning gut punch.
The Giants scored early with their biggest boost a Patrick Bailey two-run home run in the third inning that bounced off TJ Friedl’s glove over the fence.
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