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Dodgers to ease pressure on struggling League

LOS ANGELES -- Brandon League began the season as the Dodgers' closer, but after his latest rough outing, manager Don Mattingly said he would try to avoid using League in high-leverage situations.

League came on in the ninth inning Tuesday with the Dodgers leading the Giants, 6-3. But he allowed hits to all three batters he faced as San Francisco scored twice to make it 6-5. Closer Kenley Jansen was unavailable after pitching three straight games, so the Dodgers turned to League, who didn't record an out as his ERA rose to 5.72.

"We're going to try to get him back and start piecing him back together," Mattingly said Wednesday. "We're going to put him in some situations that are a little less stressful. He was our closer at the beginning of the year. We know he's got the stuff."

Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and bullpen coach Chuck Crim watched video with League on Wednesday afternoon, trying to diagnose the source of the right-hander's troubles.

"Mechanically, they're showing him some things that he was able to do last year that is not the same this year," Mattingly said. "Hopefully, he can put some positive outings together and get some confidence back."

As for the rest of the bullpen, Mattingly said he's leaning toward using Ronald Belisario as the setup man, while mixing and matching relievers in the seventh inning based on matchups.

"Honestly, the bullpen has been a fairly big issue this year as far as consistency," Mattingly said.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for
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