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Sunday, June 29, 2014
Sergio Romo out as Giants closer

ESPN.com news services

Former World Series-saving closer Sergio Romo is out for the San Francisco Giants after another blown save Saturday night, the team announced Sunday.

The Giants will now close by committee, with Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt most likely sharing those duties, manager Bruce Bochy said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Despite his 22 saves this season, Romo has blown three of his past five opportunities, the latest coming Saturday night against the Cincinnati Reds. He walked Joey Votto to start the ninth inning of a 1-0 game and then gave up a two-run home run to Brandon Phillips.

But Romo will not be completely abandoned by the team. He will continue to help get outs and maybe appear in the seventh inning, Bochy told reporters.

"I talked to Sergio today," he said, according to the paper. "I think it's the right time we tweaked this a little. He's still going to be part of the mix, but we're going to back off a little bit and do it by committee."

Romo took over as closer of the Giants midway through the 2012 season. He's racked up 77 regular-season saves and got the final outs of the 2012 Division Series against the Reds and then the World Series against the Tigers.

But he has struggled recently, seeing his ERA balloon from 1.65 through May 9 to 9.00 since then, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He had zero blown saves through May 9, but has five since then.

"Sometimes you've got to change," Bochy said, according to the newspaper. "If you keep doing the same thing over and over, sometimes it's good for a player to back off a little bit, let him breathe and get back on track. He's done such a great job. As a group, we've hit a bump in the road. As individuals, a lot of us have and hiccups.

"It's not a fun time for a manager to tell the closer he's going to change things a little bit. It's not what he wanted to hear. He's a team guy. He'll help out where we need him. It's time to lighten his load."