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Soria to get the ball as Rangers' closer

ARLINGTON -- Manager Ron Washington said if the Rangers have a lead going into the ninth inning on Monday night, Joakim Soria will be on the mound as the closer.

Alexi Ogando picked up his first save on Sunday, getting the call after Soria had pitched two days in a row. Washington said Ogando will likely get more chances to close as the season progresses, but Soria is still his No. 1 closer.

Soria has pitched in five games for the Rangers and has been successful in his only save opportunity. He was also the losing pitcher in a 6-5 loss to the Astros on Saturday night and has allowed four runs in five innings so far.

"He can spot the ball," Washington said. "I know his command hasn't been as sharp as it can be, but he can spot it up. There have been times when he's gone out there and things have fallen into place and times when he's gone out there and not had the command he usually has. He pitched two days in a row, so I went with Ogando.

"Ogando is going to get chances to close. But closing down games is not just giving the ball to somebody because they have stuff. You've got to have nerve. You've got to be able to shut things down when it starts to break down. That's Joe Nathan. We'll see how Ogando handles it. He's going to get a chance to close ballgames, that's all I can say."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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