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.

Indians place Trevor Bauer on disabled list due to stress fracture in right fibula

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The Indians announced on Tuesday that starter Trevor Bauer has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a stress fracture in his right fibula. Pitcher Tyler Olson has been recalled from Triple-A Columbus.

Bauer, 27, took a line drive from José Abreu off of his right ankle in the seventh inning of Saturday’s start against the White Sox. He was attended to by a trainer before leaving the game.

Bauer has been among the game’s best starters this season, owning a 2.22 ERA with a 214/56 K/BB ratio in 166 innings.

Olson, 28, has pitched 18 subpar innings in the majors this season. With Triple-A Columbus, he posted a sterling 1.86 ERA with 15 strikeouts and one walk in 9 2/3 innings. Olson missed some time earlier this season with a lat strain.