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Rodney not dwelling on early season struggles

McClendon confident in veteran closer: 'This is not his first rodeo'

SEATTLE -- Mariners closer Fernando Rodney entered Friday night's series opener against the Rangers in a rare funk, and he's had a couple of days to think about how he can break out of it.

Then again, he said his strategy has always been to not think about it at all.

"When the game is over, you leave with your head held high, you forget about it, and you start preparing for the next one," Rodney said. "That's what I have to do."

Some closers study video to isolate faulty release points or mechanical tells that hitters might be picking up on. Some have psychological sit-downs with their pitching coaches. Some replay the at-bats where they went wrong over and over in their heads. Some simply sulk.

Not Rodney.

"I don't do any of that stuff," Rodney said. "I know my stuff is good, and I know that there will be some bad days and a lot of good days. You have problems when you keep thinking about the blown saves."

Rodney will need a few good outings to get his crooked early-season numbers ironed out. He gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in a win on April 12 in Oakland, and in his next appearance, he blew a one-run lead and the save by giving up two earned runs on three hits in 1/3 of an inning against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

Video: Rodney on the origin of his changeup

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Friday he's not worried about Rodney at this point in the season.

"This is not his first rodeo," McClendon said. "He does have the ability to bounce back and get it done. And I have full confidence that he'll bounce back and get it done this time."

So does the 38-year-old veteran of 13 big league seasons who was the American League saves leader in 2014. Rodney reiterated that he's not spending a minute beating himself up over the last two outings.

"I'll just do everything the same next time," Rodney said. "I'm ready for the next game."

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.
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