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Rangers like bullpen duo late in game

Rangers like bullpen duo late in game

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KANSAS CITY -- Every bullpen situation would go like Tuesday's if Ron Washington had it his way.

In that game, a win against the Royals, Eddie Guardado pitched the eighth and C.J. Wilson closed and picked up the save. That's the ideal combo for Washington, he said.

Guardado pitched a scoreless eighth on Tuesday and made a diving play to get an out at first base.

"That's what you preach, that type of communication," Washington said. "He let the first baseman know he was going to get the ball, and there wasn't any doubt and he made the play. He's a veteran. He's been through this before."

Guardado picked up the win, his first in two years. Wilson came in and pitched a scoreless ninth. He's converted 12 saves in 14 chances this season and has allowed just two earned runs in his past 10 games.

Washington said he wasn't worried about both Guardado and Wilson being lefties and pitching in consecutive innings.

Joaquin Benoit, who was the team's closer for a while and has pitched late in games, will now likely pitch in the sixth or seventh innings, Washington said.

For now, Washington likes Guardado in the eighth and Wilson in the ninth. But Guardado has saved games before and could see a few opportunities as a closer.

"It's new for C.J.," Washington said. "He's healthy right now. He's the closer, but if I needed Eddie to go out there and get me three outs in the ninth, I wouldn't hesitate to give him the ball."

Mark Dent is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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