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Veras may transition back into closer's role

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Rick Renteria didn't waste any time using Jose Veras in the ninth inning. The right-hander could regain his job as the team's closer.

Veras was sidelined with a strained left oblique and activated from the disabled list Wednesday. He made his first appearance on Thursday against the Cardinals, and he entered in the sixth with a runner at first and one out. Veras got Allen Craig to hit into a double play.

On Friday, Veras entered in the ninth with the Cubs trailing the Brewers, 4-3. He struck out two of the four batters he faced, but Chicago wasn't able to rally for the win.

"Those are situations he's pitched in before; it's not foreign to him," Renteria said of late-inning work. "We want him to continue to build as much confidence as he possibly can and [Friday] was an opportunity that we had for him, and we used him."

Veras was the closer at the start of the season, but he lost that job after blowing a two-run lead April 11 against St. Louis. Could Veras be the closer again?

"In the end, as it evolves and how he continues to perform will dictate how we move forward," Renteria said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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