Athletics

Athletics

OAKLAND -- A's right-hander Yusmeiro Petit has returned home to Venezuela for personal reasons and will likely miss this weekend's series against the Tigers, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Petit has been one of Oakland's most valuable relievers this season, pitching in a league-high 71 games. The 34-year-old has gone 5-3 with a 2.82 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in 73 1/3 innings.

Aside from All-Star closer Liam Hendriks, Petit has been the only consistently reliable option out of the A's bullpen and it will be a challenge to navigate games without him. His versatility has been extremely valuable, as Oakland has used him in nearly every possible situation.

Petit has been especially effective recently, allowing just one hit in his last 7 2/3 innings. For the season, he has stranded 43 of 57 inherited runners, a terrific percentage of 75.4.

Without Petit, rookie A.J. Puk could see a bigger role in the A's 'pen. The hard-throwing left-hander hasn't appeared in a game since last Monday, but Oakland manager Bob Melvin hinted that he might see action in the near future.

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Right-handers Blake Treinen, Joakim Soria, and Lou Trivino will also be relied upon in Petit's absence. All three have struggled this year after strong performances in 2018.

The A's certainly hope to have Petit back on Monday when they open a crucial four-game series in Houston against the first-place Astros.