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Koji notches 60th save since joining Red Sox

BOSTON -- Having already pitched on consecutive days, Red Sox closer Koji Uehara could have easily asked for a breather on Saturday. Instead, the 40-year-old right-hander answered manager John Farrell's call as Boston took a two-run lead into the ninth inning.

"I was asked if I was ready, and I told them that I am," Uehara said through a translator.

Uehara certainly looked ready on the mound, firing a perfect inning on 11 pitches as the Red Sox held on to beat the A's, 4-2, at Fenway Park. The outing gave Uehara his 13th save of the season and his 60th in a Boston uniform.

He has now made five relief appearances in the last seven days.

"The one thing that's great about Koji is that he keeps himself in such great shape to be able to go three consecutive days," manager John Farrell said. "Clearly he's got a down day tomorrow. But when push comes to shove, Koji's done great in the closer's spot."

Uehara's 11 perfect appearances this season tie him with setup man Junichi Tazawa for the team lead. Careful maintenance of his body in between outings, Uehara said, has played an important role in that success.

"I think just because I'm older, I need more preparation to keep my body awake," Uehara said. "Obviously it's very key.

"I'm just glad that I was able to go out and get some outs and get the win for us."

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for
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