The Giants snapped their three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the D-backs on Saturday at Chase Field, but the victory was dampened by an injury to right-hander Trevor Cahill, who departed in the fourth inning with left hip discomfort.
Cahill, who is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday in Arizona, said he felt the injury while throwing a pitch in the third. He’s dealt with a similar issue in the past, but it had never previously led to him exiting a start.
“The fact that it’s something I’ve dealt with, I’m not overly concerned,” Cahill said. “Hopefully, we’re just going to have to manage and treat it. Hope it doesn’t become a big issue.”
Cahill retired the first eight batters he faced and received early run support via RBI doubles from Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt and Mike Yastrzemski, but his hip issue became apparent in the third after he hit Jon Jay on the back foot with a breaking ball.
Athletic trainer Dave Groeschner and manager Gabe Kapler emerged for a quick mound visit, but the 32-year-old Cahill waved them off and remained in the game. The veteran subsequently walked Kole Calhoun, but he coaxed a flyout from Ketel Marte to complete the inning.
Cahill came back out for the fourth, but he gave up a single to Starling Marte, followed by a two-run home run to Christian Walker that cut the Giants’ lead to 4-2. Cahill fell behind, 3-0, to Eduardo Escobar before Groeschner and Kapler again emerged from the visiting dugout to check on him. This time, Cahill walked off the field with Groeschner, prompting Kapler to bring in reliever Jarlín García to face Escobar.
“Obviously, Groesch and I went out there in the third, and he was stretching it out pretty consistently,” Kapler said. “We wanted to make sure that he was all right. We walked out there, and he assured us that he was strong and capable of getting through that inning. We felt confident enough to send him back out there. He just didn't look quite right, so we removed him from that game and went to the bullpen.”
“It just kind of got sore to the point where I couldn't go anymore,” Cahill said.
Escobar worked a walk that was charged to Cahill, but García induced a double play from Nick Ahmed to end the inning.
García, Sam Coonrod, Trevor Gott, Tony Watson and Tyler Rogers combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up Cahill and seal the win for the Giants (16-19), whose bullpen has a 1.27 ERA over the past 11 games. Wilmer Flores added an insurance run in the ninth with his team-leading eighth home run of the year, a solo shot off right-hander Kevin Ginkel.
“I know for me, personally, I just wanted to echo what everyone else did today,” said Rogers, who earned his second career save. “Jarlín came in in a tough spot there. Coonrod and Gott and Watty and everybody just did their job well tonight, so I just wanted to echo that. Maybe that's what we've been doing the past few weeks to kind of get rolling here.”
Cahill, who signed a Minor League deal with the Giants this past offseason, opened the season on the injured list with a fingernail issue, but he settled into the starting rotation following an injury to Jeff Samardzija. Cahill entered Saturday with a 1.64 ERA over his first 11 innings of the year and was viewed as a potential candidate to be moved ahead of Monday’s 1 p.m. PT Trade Deadline, though he is now likely to stay put given his uncertain injury status.
Samardzija (right shoulder inflammation) and left-hander Drew Smyly (left index finger sprain) were scheduled to throw bullpen sessions at Oracle Park this weekend, but neither appears close to a return. Dereck Rodríguez was also designated for assignment last week, leaving the Giants thin on rotation options if Cahill misses time.
San Francisco could take advantage of its two off-days during the upcoming week to skip Cahill’s turn in the rotation and give him more time to heal.
“I've never had to come out for it or anything, so I'm hoping we can just kind of work around it a little bit,” Cahill said. “I'm sure we're going to get some pictures and some images on it [Sunday]. There will be some more answers from that.”