Indians remove Perez as closer

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

In Chris Perez the Cleveland Indians no longer trust.
Manager Terry Francona decided Friday to go with a closer-by-committee plan for the final three games of the regular season this weekend against the Minnesota Twins.
The Indians are fighting for a wild-card berth in the American League playoffs. They led the Texas Rangers by one game and trailed the Tampa Bays by a game in the battle for the two postseason spots entering Friday night's action.
Perez nearly blew two critical games for the Indians this week. On Thursday night against the Twins, he came on in the ninth inning and gave up four runs before Joe Smith relieved him and preserved a 6-5 victory over the Twins.
According to reports, Perez and Francona spoke after Thursday night's game and again Friday.
Smith, Justin Masterson, Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw are candidates to fill the closer's role for the critical weekend games.
Perez has given up six runs in his last two appearances and has a 7.52 ERA since the beginning of August. He has converted 25 of 30 saves this season and has a career-low 4.33 ERA in 54 innings.
The Indians had survived Perez's perilous performances to win seven games in a row.

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