CHICAGO — Unable to find reliable relief in the ninth inning, the Texas Rangers will try a closer-by-committee approach until further notice.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister announced the decision Saturday, one day after his team squandered a two-run lead in the ninth inning of an 8-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Texas leads the American League with 16 blown saves.
Left-hander Alex Claudio and right-handers Matt Bush, Jose Leclerc and Keone Kela are in the mix to close games. Bush (2-4) has assumed the role lately, but he gave up three runs in the ninth inning Friday for his fifth blown save.
“We’ve been inconsistent, so we’ve got to find what our best recipe is for getting the 27th out,” Banister said.
Texas had lost three straight entering Saturday’s game against the White Sox.
Kela began the day 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA but was dealing with soreness in his right biceps. Claudio was 1-0 with a 2.48 ERA, and Leclerc was 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA.
“We’ll make a decision on multiple pitchers out there based on who’s available to us and the set of hitters (he’ll face),” Banister said. “We’re not committed to one single guy.”
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