ST. PETERSBURG -- It's no revelation, but A's manager Bob Melvin acknowledged Ryan Madson as his closer on Saturday -- the role he's occupied for quite some time now, just without the title.
That's because Melvin was relying on matchups to determine how to use Madson and incumbent closer Sean Doolittle for much of the first month of the season. That typically led to Doolittle pitching in innings not named the ninth, opening the door for Madson to handle save opportunities.
The veteran is perfect in nine of them this season, accounting for the fifth most saves in the American League. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 11 games, spanning 10 2/3 innings, and he's surrendered just two total in 16 appearances overall.
Doolittle, meanwhile, suffered losses in two of his first five appearances. He has two saves in three chances and has pitched better of late, having not allowed a run in 11 of his last 12 outings. On Friday, he struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning at Tropicana Field, setting up Madson's latest save.
Asked about the closer role Saturday, Melvin smiled and responded, "I think at this point in time, Madson is probably the guy we're looking to. … Seems like Madson is the guy that we're using to close a little bit more if I'm reading the statistics right."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.