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BASEBALL EXTRA | AROUND THE LEAGUE

Marlins to Stick With Nen as Closer

May 31, 1997|Associated Press

Florida Marlin fans may boo the decision, but Manager Jim Leyland plans to stick with slumping right-hander Robb Nen as the team's closer.

Nen has blown three of his past five save opportunities. He gave up three runs in the ninth inning Thursday when the Colorado Rockies rallied for a 6-5 victory.

Leyland gave Nen a day off Friday to work on his mechanics. But the hard-throwing right-hander won't be replaced in the closer's role.

"If Robbie Nen doesn't do it, we're in trouble," Leyland said. "What happens is if you start switching guys that are being successful and putting them in different roles, you might have three or four guys screwed up instead of one."

Nen, who has 86 career saves for Florida, was surprised and angry when fans in Miami booed during his past two appearances.

"They don't know what I'm going through," he said. "They don't care."

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New York pitcher Bill Pulsipher lasted one-third of an inning Friday night in a start for Class-A St. Lucie of the Florida State League. Pulsipher, trying to come back from elbow surgery, gave up six runs--five earned--and one hit. He walked five and balked three times.

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Chicago pitcher Kevin Tapani threw from the mound for eight minutes, his first such activity since undergoing hand surgery April 4.

"He really looked good," Cub Manager Jim Riggleman said. "He's come a long way."

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