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Washington staying with Feliz as closer

Washington staying with Feliz as closer

MILWAUKEE -- Manager Ron Washington said before Sunday's game that if he had a ninth-inning lead, he was still planning to go with Neftali Feliz as his closer.

"I'm giving the ball back to Feliz," Washington said. "I've got to keep his mental toughness up. Once again, we'll have some support behind him if need be. But we've got to get him back on his horse."

Feliz was called upon Saturday night to protect a 4-1 lead in the ninth inning. He couldn't get through the inning. He retired the first batter but gave up two singles and two walks. Washington pulled him with the bases loaded, one out and the Rangers leading, 4-2. Chris Ray retired the final two hitters to preserve the victory.

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"I just call it one of those days," Feliz said. "That happens. I'm not looking more into it. I have to keep my head up and be ready to go the next time."

Feliz was pitching only for the second time in eight games and has only four appearances in June. He wasn't using that as an excuse, and the Rangers won't let him.

"That doesn't impact anything," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "Don't give in to that. We've talked about that. Keep yourself sharp. That's why we play catch every day. In that role, it's either going to be blood or drought. If you maintain your delivery, you'll maintain command."

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