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Rangers take relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson out of closer role

Shawn Tolleson

Rangers relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson blew his fourth save of the season when giving up a grand slam to Oakland’s Khris Davis with two out in the ninth inning Tuesday night.

(Ben Margot / Associated Press)

Shawn Tolleson will not be closing games for Texas for a while, Rangers Manager Jeff Banister said before Wednesday’s series finale with the Oakland Athletics. He will be replaced by Sam Dyson.

Tolleson, who was tied with Oakland’s Ryan Madson and Seattle’s Cishek for the AL lead with 11 saves, had his fourth blown save Tuesday night, giving up a grand slam to Khris Davis with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Rangers have lost six times in walk-off fashion, the most in the majors and matching their total from last year.

Dyson has saved two games in the Rangers’ last three wins.

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“Shawn will still pitch, just in different situations,” Banister said. “You look at his body of work and he’s been efficient, effective and sits atop the AL in saves. This is a tough stretch for him.”

Tolleson has blown saves in his last two appearances and has two saves in five chances over his last six.

“This is not unlike a position player who is struggling,” Banister said. “It gives him an opportunity to exhale a little bit.”

Players get blame

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New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner backed Manager Joe Girardi, his coaching staff and General Manager Brian Cashman and blamed players for the team’s poor start, which bottomed at 9-17. Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino were singled out for criticism, and Steinbrenner also praised Headley, Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks along with Girardi, Cashman and pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

“The coaches are doing a good job,” Steinbrenner said. “These are professional athletes. They’re the best baseball players in the world, and sooner or later it comes down to them, on the inside, to push through whatever it is they’re going through and to persevere.”

Teixeira, a three-time All-Star first baseman, started the day with a .211 average and 11 RBIs. Headley didn’t have an extra-base hit until May 12. After going 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA as a rookie, Severino is 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA and is on the disabled list with a triceps injury. Pineda is 1-5 with a 6.60 ERA — 102nd among 104 qualifying pitchers in the major leagues.


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