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Guillen defends closer Jenks

Guillen defends closer Jenks

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CHICAGO -- Closer Bobby Jenks may have suffered the loss Tuesday after allowing two runs in the top of the ninth to give the Rays a 3-2 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, but he has yet to lose the confidence of his manager.

Ozzie Guillen stood behind his stopper before Wednesday's game and bemoaned the treatment the veteran reliever has received from the team's fans.

"Bobby is still my closer," Guillen said. "He will be my closer until he can't do it anymore. It's a shame how short a memory people have. A real shame. I grew up in this city, and when you blow one game -- not two, just one -- obviously that broke their heart. There's nobody in this room that feels worse than him.

"All of a sudden, people treat him like a piece of garbage, and the way they treat him is not fair. It's not fair. This guy, since we got him, has been great. He will continue to be great. He's a human being, he had a bad night. I know he will turn the corner and continue to have success."

There's no question, though, that Jenks has not been his usual self of late. In the month of July, Jenks has watched his ERA rise more than a point, from 3.21 to 4.24. In his past five outings, he has surrendered 10 hits, walked four batters and plunked two more.

His performance Tuesday night was the only one this month in which he had a save opportunity and didn't convert it, but he's allowed at least two baserunners in each of those past five outings.

And his frustration has shown through on the mound, where Jenks has been seen screaming into his glove when things begin to head south.

"I'm showing frustration out there just because of the fact that it's a continuous thing," said Jenks, who also insists he is healthy. "I'm usually very good about being able to let go of a bad game and not continuously have a run of bad outings. That's what has been showing on the field."

Things have been particularly bad for Jenks against left-handed batters, who are slugging a collective .507 against him.

But if there is a problem, Jenks said it isn't a mechanical one.

"I looked at video earlier today and there's nothing too serious mechanically that needs to be fixed," he said. "It's just a little rut I'm in right now. [I'll] try to pitch through it and see if I can get better.''

"Bobby will turn around," Guillen said. "He's not going to sit in his house and cry about it. He's a grown man, he's blown saves before, he will blow a save again. I know he's ready today, and I have 100 percent confidence he can do the job."

David Just is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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