Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/11/12

The Oakland A's have gone to the dreaded "closer by committee."

Grant Balfour could not hang onto the full-time closer's role, and neither could Brian Fuentes, and after Fuentes allowed a walkoff homer on Friday for the second time in four appearances, manager Bob Melvin decided to go with a group effort.

Rookie Ryan Cook, the A's most reliable reliever all season, will join the mix, along with Fuentes and Balfour, and Melvin said he will factor in availability and matchups.

Asked if he had considered just going with Cook, who has not allowed a run in 23 of his 24 outings,

Melvin said he might need Cook in tough situations in the eighth inning, too.

Essentially, that means that Cook will work in the most high-leverage situations, whether in the eighth

or the ninth, and Balfour and Fuentes will get their share of saves in bases-empty ninth-inning situations.

Fuentes, however, became the first A's closer in 15 years to blow a save with two outs, the bases empty

and a two-run lead on Friday. And Balfour has pitched better lately, with a 1.88 ERA over his past 14

games.

The A's did not need a closer on Sunday in a 4-3 loss at Arizona, where the team dropped all three

games.

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