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Cook playing catch-up in bullpen

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ARLINGTON -- Ryan Cook hasn't been forgotten as a setup man. The A's right-hander has simply been playing catch-up.

Cook pitched the sixth and seventh innings of a game the A's gained a significant lead in the early going in Texas on Tuesday, but that's not because his role has changed.

"If I didn't have Luke [Gregerson] available on a particular day, it's easy to stick him in the eighth inning," said manager Bob Melvin. "One of the things we wanted to do is stretch him out, because he hadn't had that. He really didn't go through what everyone else did in Spring Training.

"To be able to get him those two innings yesterday was important."

Cook spent all of Spring Training nursing a sore shoulder back to health, and he didn't make his season debut until April 7. Since, he's allowed just two hits in 9 1/3 innings but has also walked seven, though he's currently riding a six-game scoreless streak.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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