OAKLAND -- Protecting a one-run lead Saturday night with two outs and a runner on first in the ninth, A's closer Sean Doolittle felt a sudden pain in his right side, near his back.
Doolittle initially experienced it while delivering an 0-1 pitch to the Angels' Erick Aybar, and he took some deep breaths before mustering another offering. His side tightened up once more, but he managed to induce a comebacker to the mound to seal a 2-1 victory.
Moments later the pain had subsided, and Doolittle proceeded to successfully complete a series of twisting and stretching exercises with the training staff.
"If I was not able to do some of the stuff they asked me to do, it'd be a different story," Doolittle said. "I probably wouldn't be out here talking to you guys. [The trainers] were encouraged by that, and I think early signs are pointed in the right direction."
Doolittle noted that, while he's never felt anything like this before, it felt "kind of like a cramp."
"We'll know more [Sunday]," he said. "They didn't feel the need to do anything more than ice, so I think I'll just ice it and let it calm down for the night."
After pitching back-to-back days, Doolittle likely would have been unavailable for Sunday's series finale anyway.
Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.