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Trio of relievers sees first action of spring

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PHOENIX -- Lost in the fray of a 13-9 defeat to the Giants on Friday were the debuts of three A's relievers who played significant roles in the club's 2012 success.

Jerry Blevins, who compiled a career-high 65 1/3 innings last year, was the first to come out of the bullpen. The lefty was shaky in his first outing -- not uncommon for pitchers getting a feel for game action again -- and allowed two earned runs (three total) on four hits with a strikeout before being pulled after just two outs.

Blevins' teammates fared better.

There was righty Ryan Cook, who as a rookie split time between the setup and closer roles last year. He walked one in an otherwise solid frame, and lefty Sean Doolittle followed with a rather clean inning of his own, allowing one hit.

Both pitchers threw over 70 innings last season, which is why the team was in no rush to have them pitch in games this spring.

A's closer Grant Balfour, meanwhile, doesn't appear too far off from his own debut. Just two weeks removed from minor knee surgery, Balfour threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday. He's expected to throw a few more bullpen sessions before getting into Cactus League action.

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