Perez out as Indians closer, Francona will use committee

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Perez is out as the Indians closer, at least for the rest of this weekend.

Manager Terry Francona didn't name a replacement Friday, saying that he would let the game dictate who pitches in the ninth inning. Joe Smith, Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw and Justin Masterson are all possibilities, although it appears the initial plan is to bring Masterson in a little earlier in the game.

Francona said he still plans to use Perez in the final-weekend series against the Twins. But he had to make a change, after Perez came in Thursday with a 6-1 lead and surrendered four runs before being removed from the game. Smith got the final out.

Perez came in to talk to Francona after the game, and the two spoke again Friday.

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