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O's lose Cobb, Valera for rest of season

Righty aggravates blister in 1st inning; infielder fractures finger sliding headfirst into home
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Despite coming back in the sixth inning en route to a 6-3 victory in the series finale against the Yankees on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, the Orioles ended up losing pitcher Alex Cobb and infielder Breyvic Valera for the remainder of the season.

After being sidelined for nearly two weeks with a blister on his right middle finger, Cobb took the mound but threw just four pitches before being removed from the game.

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NEW YORK -- Despite coming back in the sixth inning en route to a 6-3 victory in the series finale against the Yankees on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, the Orioles ended up losing pitcher Alex Cobb and infielder Breyvic Valera for the remainder of the season.

After being sidelined for nearly two weeks with a blister on his right middle finger, Cobb took the mound but threw just four pitches before being removed from the game.

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"I knew it was going to be an issue when I started throwing in the bullpen [before the game], towards the end of that," Cobb said. "I knew I wasn't going to last very long, but I didn't know how long I could push it. It ultimately cut open again, probably that fourth pitch in that first inning."

After throwing what ended up being his final pitch to Yankees leadoff batter Andrew McCutchen, Cobb was seen looking down at his pitching hand before Orioles manager Buck Showalter and a trainer came out to remove him.

"It's real tough walking off of the mound like that, really contributing nothing to the game knowing that you're leaving such a burden to the bullpen to kind of deal with," Cobb said. "It's tough, but we prepared for it, and I think Buck knew it was a real possibility it was going to happen."

"We knew it had the potential to be a challenge, and he wanted to give it a shot and he got a blood blister underneath … just unfortunate," Showalter said. "It's a real tribute to Alex giving it a shot. He'll probably not pitch again."

In his last start on Sept. 11 vs. the A's, Cobb was pulled after just two innings due to the blister. At that point, his return was questionable for the remainder of the season, but the hurler felt as if he could make at least one more trip to the mound after two successful bullpen sessions over the past week.

"It's obviously not the way we wanted to finish the year," Cobb said. "You want to finish the year healthy on a positive note. It's nothing that's going to be career-threatening or anything like that. You feel fortunate about that. You obviously want to finish on a better note, deeper in the game, come back and be healthy for two starts, but we tried pushing it. We tried pushing it because we could. … We wouldn't have known without trying, so we're at where we're at."

As if losing Cobb at the beginning of the game was not enough, Valera left in the fifth after sliding headfirst into Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez at home plate. Following an X-ray, Valera was diagnosed with a fracture in his left index finger.

Video: BAL@NYY: Walker throws home to save a run in the 5th

"We looked at it," Showalter said of the replay. "[Sanchez] caught it and stepped into him, I was told. I haven't looked at it yet. It's unfortunate. Some people will tell you he should go feet first, but he's good at that. I've seen him do it before. It's a big body."

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Baltimore Orioles, Alex Cobb, Breyvic Valera