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Belisario eyes bounceback after period of rest

CHICAGO -- Interim White Sox closer Ronald Belisario did not work in each of the previous two games after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning of Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Yankees in 10 innings.

Pitching coach Don Cooper believes Belisario will definitely benefit from the rest, after being pushed into the closer's role because of Matt Lindstrom's injury the day after he threw two scoreless innings and 21 pitches in relief.

"We threw him in there after a real workload," said Cooper of Belisario. "Getting after it, two innings, an inning the next day, here's two innings. Then close for us.

"I think he entered that not at full strength. Now, I think the two days off, hoping that helped him get it back together."

Cooper views Thursday's team off-day as a way to give all of his pitchers an extra day. The White Sox have another day off one week from Thursday between road series against the Dodgers and Angels.

"Guys are throwing the ball well," said Cooper of the bullpen, which ranks among the American League leaders since April 26 in opponents' average (first, .195), ERA (second, 2.91) and innings pitched (fifth, 92 2/3). "The biggest thing on my mind with the bullpen is giving them some time to regroup a little bit."

Belisario tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning, with one strikeout, for his third save in Tuesday night's 2-1 victory.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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