Vaunted bullpen trio lets A’s down in loss to Tigers

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Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour combined to pitch nine scoreless innings, allowing just three hits in the process, in the series sweep of the Rangers last week. In today’s Game 2 loss to the Tigers, the trio gave up four runs — two earned — and six hits in 2 2/3 innings of work.

What was a 2-1 Oakland lead when Doolittle entered to start the bottom of the seventh turned into a 5-4 loss after Don Kelly’s sac fly in the ninth.

All three relievers allowed two hits. Doolittle still would have escaped his inning clean if not for Coco Crisp’s drop of Miguel Cabrera’s fly to shallow center. It was ruled an error, so both runs Doolittle allowed were unearned. Still, he took a blown save, as did Cook after his wild pitch allowed the tying run in the eighth. Balfour suffered the loss in the ninth after entering a 4-4 game.

To see all three get negative results in the same game is simply incredible. Doolittle took a loss or a blown save just twice in 44 regular-season appearances this year. Balfour was even better, with three such appearances in 75 trips to the mound. Cook took a loss and/or a blown save seven times in 71 appearances.

Now, sure, many of those appearances came in situations in which a loss or a blown save was never in play. And most of them didn’t come against offenses as good as Detroit’s. Still, for all three to fail back-to-back-to-back, well, perhaps there is a little something different to this thing they call postseason baseball.

Tuesday’s Rays-Orioles game postponed due to rain

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The Orioles announced that Tuesday night’s game against the Rays at Camden Yards has been postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader on May 12 at 3:05 PM. The second game will begin about 30 minutes after the first game finishes.

As Weather.com noted recently, Major League Baseball has already seen a record number of weather-related postponements this month, at least dating back to 1986.

According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, as of April 19 when he wrote this column, there had been only four days where all 30 teams managed to play on the same day. Stark also pointed out that, at the time he published his article, there had been 27 games with first-pitch temperatures in the 30’s. There was one such game last year, eight in 2016, four in 2015, and 12 in 2014. It’s been a weird month.