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A's looking for Blevins to step up in bullpen

A's looking for Blevins to step up in bullpen

A's looking for Blevins to step up in bullpen

OAKLAND -- If the first-place A's add to their roster before Wednesday's Trade Deadline, it'll likely be in the form of a new arm.

Oakland is open to trading for either a starter or reliever, depending on what becomes available to them at the right price, despite already boasting one of the game's best staffs.

Should the club stand pat, though, "we're going to have a good team regardless," manager Bob Melvin said.

Melvin's bullpen is stacked with talent, and a clean ninth inning from the previously struggling Jerry Blevins on Monday night offered encouragement to a team that will need to rely on each of its relievers down the stretch -- particularly the complement pieces to Grant Balfour, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook.

"I think a nice, clean inning like that goes a long way confidence-wise, because he's a guy we really do need in our bullpen," Melvin said. "When we're going through stretches like this where we're using our three key guys in our bullpen a lot, and certain guys aren't available, you're going to need a guy like Jerry Blevins. So that was a big outing for him."

Blevins struck out two in his perfect inning against the Blue Jays, after walking two without getting an out in his previous outing. Overall, he had allowed nine runs in his past 10 appearances before Monday, with opponents going 9-for-22 (.409) off him over that span.

"More so than anything," Melvin said, "command has been the issue, whether he was getting ahead and giving up two-strike hits or the other night when he walked a couple of guys, which is out of character for him. Command is big for him, and he certainly had it last night."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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