DETROIT -- The A's lost Scott Kazmir for the rest of the game, Yoenis Cespedes for perhaps a day or two and a three-run ninth-inning lead all in the same game Monday, a 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
What Oakland didn't lose was any confidence in closer Sean Doolittle, who has suddenly fallen on hard times, the hardest of which was Rajai Davis' walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.
Kazmir came out of the game in the sixth inning when he started to wince a bit after consecutive pitches to Nick Castellanos. Kazmir was taken out of the game, and while the A's said later he was fine, both Kazmir and manager Bob Melvin said a bit of cramping in the calf led to Kazmir's exit.
He is not expected to miss a start. The same cannot be said for Cespedes, who left the game after scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth.
"It's a left hamstring cramp or strain," Melvin said, adding that his left fielder, who extended his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games, was unlikely to play in the second game of the series Tuesday.
Doolittle, on the other hand, is fine except for the beating his ERA took, soaring from 2.08 to 2.97 with his second consecutive blown save. He gave up a run in the ninth inning Saturday, a game the A's went on to win against the Marlins.
"The other night in Miami, even though the results might not have been there and I blew the save, my stuff was a lot better," Doolittle said. "I just got beat. I was able to make every pitch I wanted to make that inning. (The Marlins) just made adjustments."
Monday saw Doolittle face four batters before Davis, giving up two singles and a walk -- his second of the season. Davis then socked the A's in the jaw with his third career slam.
"Tonight I was inconsistent, even walked a guy," Doolittle said. "For a lot of reasons this one is a lot more frustrating."
Jed Lowrie, who had two hits and drove in three of the four A's runs, said Doolittle's performance to date has earned him the right to have this spell overlooked.
"The guy has been so good pretty much all year," Lowrie said. "I think he's allowed a little bit of leash. It's a good offense. That's well-documented. Just like us, they aren't going to give anything away. You're going to have to earn everything you get from them.
"They battled down to the very end, and Rajai got a pitch to hit and did what he's supposed to do with it."
Davis, who played for the A's from 2008-10, has been a blister for the A's this season. He stole a base in the eighth inning of a tie game in Oakland on May 27 and virtually willed the Tigers to a 6-5 win. And then this.
"He makes stuff happen; he's a high-energy guy," Doolittle said. "Whether it's on base or at the plate or even in the outfield, he's making stuff happen."
The A's have had more than their share of blown saves this year, particularly for a team with a 51-31 record. This was the 13th in 32 tries. Some games the offense has been able to pull out, some not. But Doolittle has been at the top of his game for so long that the A's take his games Saturday and Monday as mere trifles.
He had, after all, gone 24 games and 261/3 innings without allowing a run before Saturday.
"He gave up a couple of hits the other night and ends up not getting the save there," Melvin said. "But you know any time you have a three-run lead, you feel great about him, no matter what. He just didn't get it done today."
The A's will look to the trainers to see if Cespedes will be able to go again in this series. The thickly muscled left fielder has had leg issues in the past, and the A's are likely to play it safe with him.
But if he can't go and catcher Derek Norris (back) isn't quite ready, Oakland would be going into Tuesday with a two-man bench unless the A's pull someone up from Triple-A, which seems unlikely but not out of the question.
The A's appeared headed for a win after a three-run eighth inning that broke a 1-1 tie. A wild throw from Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez allowed Cespedes to reach, and moments later Brandon Moss reached the 60-RBI mark with a double to left-center.
Joba Chamberlain relieved Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez and yielded a walk to Josh Donaldson and single to Stephen Vogt before Lowrie's second opposite-field single of the game chased two runs home.
A's (Brad Mills 1-0) at Detroit (Rick Porcello 10-4), 4:08 p.m. CSNCA