OAKLAND The A's could not summon more of their walk-off magic Saturday, but they have a bigger issue on their hands.
Rookie closer Ryan Cook surrendered a ninth-inning, tying home run for the second straight day, and the A's fell 3-1 in 11 innings to the Toronto Blue Jays in front of an announced crowd of 17,121 at the Coliseum.
For all of their thrilling finishes and pie-in-the-face shenanigans, the A's can't afford to keep coughing up late leads. Cook has an American League-high seven blown saves, with four coming in his past six outings.
Cook's story is well-documented, from his rise to the closer's job to his selection to the All-Star Game. But it can't be forgotten that the A's are entrusting the ninth inning to a young pitcher who didn't even start relieving until last season, and it's proving to be a high-risk proposition.
A sparkling group effort from the bullpen had Oakland in position to win after starter A.J. Griffin exited in the second inning because of tightness in his throwing shoulder.
The right-hander had an MRI that showed no structural damage; his status for his next start is unknown.
Cook retired Edwin Encarnacion to lead off the ninth, but cleanup hitter David Cooper homered to make it 1-1.
The Blue Jays took the lead in the 11th on a defensive miscue. Encarnacion attempted to steal third, and A's catcher George Kottaras delivered a throw that was on the foul side of third base but was very catchable. Brandon Inge missed the throw while trying to make a swipe tag before he had the ball, and it sailed into left field to allow Encarnacion to score. Moises Sierra added a run-scoring double to pad the lead.
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