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Rodney feels primed for duty in postseason

BOSTON -- Closer Fernando Rodney finished out Wednesday night's 4-0 win over Cleveland in the American League Wild Card Game. Though he did not earn a save, he looked good, and he needs to find his 2012 form if the Rays are to stay alive in this year's postseason.

Manager Joe Maddon thinks Rodney has been in a good place over his past handful of appearances.

"He's been pretty darn good, or consistent," Maddon said. "So I'm not concerned. As an example, coming before that night, the game was not a good game, and I called down there to see if he wanted to come in for an inning. He did not. So that tells me his confidence is up."

Rodney saved 37 games in 2013, 11 fewer than in 2012, and his ERA rose from an eye-popping 0.60 in 2012 to 3.38 this season. Part of the difference can be attributed to the fact that the Rays were not able to use him in save situations for prolonged periods this season, which prevented him from establishing a rhythm.

"That makes it harder to do what I do," Rodney said. "Last year I pitched more consistent. This year was different. I don't have control of that."

Nevertheless, he feels primed for duty in the postseason.

"I'm up for that, because that's where I'm at right now," he said.

Bill Chastain and Adam Berry are reporters for
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