Right-hander Joakim Soria is out as the Royals' closer, a job he has held since midway through his rookie season in 2007. He blew his second save in as many days on Memorial Day and his third save in a week in the Royals' 10-8 loss to the Angels.
Soria was roughed up for three runs on four hits, one of them a two-run home run by Torii Hunter, after being trusted with an 8-7 lead to start the ninth inning.
This came one day after Soria blew a save at Texas, allowing two runs on three hits, including a home run by Nelson Cruz to lead off the inning.
Soria, who had 43 saves in 46 opportunities last year, has only one save since April 29 and had four blown saves in five opportunities in May.
"We've gotten to a point where we'll back Jack off," manager Ned Yost said. "We'll give him a break."
Yost said he would use Soria in "less-pressure situations with a sense of getting him back to the closer's role."
Yost had been adamant in keeping Soria, a two-time American League All-Star selection, as his closer, but his latest calamity forced the change.
"It gets to a point now where if I continue to try to do that, it gets detrimental to not only our team, but to Jack, too," Yost said.
"It's time to step up and make a change and let him take a step back, get himself together and then take over that closer's role sometime in the near future."
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