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Francisco will still have chance to close

Francisco will still have chance to close

NEW YORK -- Manager Ron Washington said that Frank Francisco will still get opportunities to close games, even though Neftali Feliz has taken over that role.

One such opportunity would have taken place on Thursday afternoon in Cleveland if the Rangers had been able to take a lead into the ninth, because Feliz had thrown 18 pitches the night before.

"We felt like we needed to give Feliz a day," Washington said.

The 18-pitch outing was one reason. Another was the quick turnaround on a day game after a night game. Feliz has yet to pitch in back-to-back games as a reliever since being called up to the Major Leagues on Aug. 2, but Washington said that is a possibility at some point.

"In the right circumstances, I would send him out there with the right amount of pitches [from the game before]," he said.

But if not, Washington is still comfortable using Francisco in a save situation. Francisco couldn't hold two ninth-inning leads during the opening homestand, prompting Washington to move Feliz into the role.

"There will be opportunities for Frankie," Washington said. "The closer's role is a role where results really matter. A guy who is pitching every day ... If he's still getting ground balls, you don't worry about results as much. But when you're trying to get three outs in the ninth inning, results are more important."

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