Matt Barnes closes out Red Sox' win, but don't call him the closer


SEATTLE - Matt Barnes jogged out of the bullpen in the bottom of the ninth with the Red Sox clinging to a one-run lead. 

The reliever got the save. 

But Alex Cora still won’t call him the closer. 

When asked after the game if he is ready to name a closer, the Sox manager simply said, “No”. 

Cora talked with Barnes a month ago about his role, which appears to be one where they will use him in a similar fashion as they did Friday night. The Mariners had their Nos. 2, 3 and 4 hitters due up. 

“He already knows what it’s all about,” Cora said. “I talked to him about a month ago about how we’ll use him. Two-three-four in the ninth had a lot to do with it.”

Barnes said he didn’t know when he’d be called upon until the phone rang. 

“We kind of had an idea of where I was going to pitch,” Barnes said.  “I didn’t know it was going to be the ninth inning before tonight.”

With that said, the reliever said he felt ready.

“You just kind of prepare, mentally lock in for a few innings in a scenario in which you could possibly be used.”

Cora said Barnes will be available to pitch again if needed on Saturday. 

But that doesn’t mean Barnes will get the closing call and he’s OK with that.

"If it’s not me in the ninth inning on a given night then we have 100% faith in the other guy that’s going to take the ball and close a game out for us.”

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