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Athletics reliever Ryan Cook leaves game due to strained forearm, will undergo MRI

Ryan Cook has appeared in 12 games for Oakland, totaling 12 1/3 innings and 15 strikeouts. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)Ryan Cook has appeared in 12 games for Oakland, totaling 12 1/3 innings and 15 strikeouts. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

The first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader between the Mariners and Athletics hardly turned out the way that the A's had been hoping. Not only did Oakland lose in extra innings, 6-4, but also lost a pair of players to injury during the affair. Coco Crisp was forced from the game early with a neck strain after making a diving catch in the outfield, but is expected to be okay after sitting out the night cap. Reliever Ryan Cook, however, remains a little more up in the air. The right-hander left the game early with a strained right forearm, and MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that he’ll undergo an MRI exam sometime Thursday during the team's scheduled off-day.

Cook, to his credit, sounded optimistic that the injury won’t turn out to be anything too serious, telling Lee, “Seems to be strictly in my forearm, just tightness. It’s not as bad as you guys think it is, I can tell you that. At least we think right now.”

Having established himself as a key piece of the A’s bullpen over the past two seasons, Cook had started off 2014 along much of the same path after missing most of spring training with tendinitis in his shoulder. He’s made 12 appearances on the year and had allowed just two earned runs all season prior to Wednesday’s appearance against the Mariners. Entering the game to begin the 10th inning, Cook allowed a leadoff single to Michael Saunders, who promptly stole second base. Stefen Romero sacrificed him over to third for the inning’s first out before Cook intentionally walked Robinson Cano. Cook struck out Corey Hart for the inning’s second out, but appeared to be in visible pain in doing so, prompting a visit from trainers and his departure from the game. Dan Otero replaced him, allowing back-to-back singles that drove home both Saunders and Cano before getting out of the inning.

Oakland will hope that Cook can avoid a stint on the disabled list as they await results of his MRI exam. Fernando Rodriguez, who’s pitched well for Triple-A Sacramento, would appear to be the most likely candidate to replace him in the bullpen if he does need to be sidelined for a period of time. The A’s currently site atop the AL West with a two-game lead, but losing Cook for an extended period would hurt the back end of what’s been a relatively strong mix in the bullpen on the season to date.

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