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A's notebook: Bullpen strong for Oakland, Coco Crisp cramps up

OAKLAND — Almost lost in Max Scherzer's dominance and Yoenis Cespedes' unbridled power was another strong performance by the A's bullpen. Dan Otero and Sean Doolittle pitched from behind and managed to keep their team in the game, combining to throw three innings in which the sole Detroit baserunner, Victor Martinez, reached on an error by Cespedes.

Doolittle struck out three of six batters he faced.

“The one thing you can't do with that lineup is walk guys,” Doolittle said. “There's no holes in that order.You don't want to give 'em anything. You want to get ahead, you don't want to fall into hitters' counts. So that was kind of the game plan for me, establish the fastball and get ahead, see if I could move it around and get 'em to chase.”

Oakland A's vs. Detroit Tigers ALDS Game 2

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Otero's four outs included the first three hitters in the Tigers' order.

“We've seen him do that for us, and he's had a great season for us since he's gotten here,” A's manager Bob Melvin said. “He closed games all year long in Triple-A, so he has that ninth-inning dynamic. And we'll use him in close games like we did tonight.”

COCO NEEDED SOME LIQUIDS

The last thing the A's needed as they prepared to fight out of a one-game deficit was to lose the services of their spark plug, center fielder Coco Crisp. But Crisp came up hobbling after breaking for second base in the eighth inning — Josh Donaldson popped out to first base on the pitch, ending the inning.

Don't freak out, A's fans.

“I feel all right. Got to hydrate a little better,” Crisp said afterward. “Was cramping up out there. Too much excitement, not enough fluids.”

Crisp said he first started cramping in the batter's box that inning. He drew a walk, but was hesitant to run hard on the bases for fear the cramp would flare up again — and that's exactly what happened.

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