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Rough week hasn't shaken Rodney's confidence

D-backs closer has blown saves in his last two outings
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- D-backs closer Fernando Rodney has blown two saves in a row at Chase Field in excruciating fashion. On Wednesday, he had a blown save in a loss to the Padres, and Saturday he did so again against the Rockies.

Still, manager Torey Lovullo wasn't ready to announce any moves after the Rockies scored three times in the ninth against Rodney to erase a two-run deficit and win, 7-6. On Wednesday, the Padres scored five times, Ryan Schimpf's three-run homer being the big blow.

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PHOENIX -- D-backs closer Fernando Rodney has blown two saves in a row at Chase Field in excruciating fashion. On Wednesday, he had a blown save in a loss to the Padres, and Saturday he did so again against the Rockies.

Still, manager Torey Lovullo wasn't ready to announce any moves after the Rockies scored three times in the ninth against Rodney to erase a two-run deficit and win, 7-6. On Wednesday, the Padres scored five times, Ryan Schimpf's three-run homer being the big blow.

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Rodney allowed eight runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings in those two appearances.

"For right now, Fernando is our closer and it's going to be the same situation the next time he's ready," Lovullo finally said.

"Potentially, it's a very hard job to get the last three outs of a close baseball game. He has a proven track record that he's been successful. He's battle-tested. We're going to do all we can to nurse him back to what he was prior to these last two outings.

"I know this is a frustrating situation for all of us and I'm sure Fernando is frustrated as well. We're going to talk about how to get those situations done the right way."

The question is whether to keep doing that while trying to win games or do it in side sessions. It's not as if the 40-year-old Rodney has been stellar all season. He converted his first six save opportunities, but he's only thrown two clean full innings in his 12 appearances and has a 12.60 ERA.

The first was April 5 against the Giants after nearly blowing the game against San Francisco on Opening Day, and the second was a three up, three down inning against the Padres on Monday night.

Rodney threw 34 pitches on Saturday, which might give Lovullo cause to give him a breather. He has two other former closers in the bullpen, J.J. Hoover and Tom Wilhelmsen, and Archie Bradley, who has been stellar his first time as a reliever and quickly recorded the final two outs of the eighth inning on Saturday.

For his part, Rodney said he feels fine and will be ready to go. "I feel good, I feel good, my arm feels good," he said.

Rodney is in his 15th big-league season and has recorded 267 saves, but his last big year of 48 was in 2014 for Seattle. Save for an All-Star half season with Padres in 2016, the returns have diminished ever since.

Rodney wasn't surprised when told that he had the confidence of his manager and was still the closer. The D-backs paid him $3.95 million on a one-year free-agent contract to do the job. And he will continue to try and do just that.

"Yeah, that's what they told me in Spring Training," Rodney said. "I want to keep that role, fight and keep working hard. Being a closer is not easy. Everything that happened tonight is part of the job."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Fernando Rodney