Francisco to close for Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Frank Francisco is back in the role he prefers: closer.
Francisco has spent two stints on the DL this season, and has been used mostly as a setup man since he was activated on June 20.
"This is where I feel comfortable," Francisco said.
Francisco was on the 15-day disabled list from May 7-21 with right biceps tendinitis and was back on the DL from June 4-20 with right shoulder tendinitis.
C.J. Wilson, who handled the bulk of the save situations while Francisco recovered from the shoulder problem, will be used as a left-handed setup man. Wilson was 7-for-8 in save opportunities.
"C.J. will close games when Frankie isn't available," Washington said.
Washington used Francisco to get the final two outs in a non-save situation in Tuesday night's 9-5 win over the Angels, and he felt Francisco was ready to resume closing.
Francisco converted 17 straight save opportunities dating back to last season before a blown save last Thursday in Arizona, a game the Rangers ended up winning in 12 innings, 9-8.
Francisco said his arm feels fine and that he won't have a problem closing on consecutive days.
"I've gone back-to-back already and felt good," Francisco said.
Washington said he probably wouldn't use Francisco on three consecutive days unless the right-hander had a particularly low pitch count in one of the outings.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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