Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum says Carlos Marmol is out as closer and rookie Kyuji Fujikawa will take over the role.
Marmol blew a save opportunity in Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves when brothers B.J. and Justin Upton hit solo homers in the ninth inning. Sveum made the decision before Sunday’s game.
Fujikawa didn’t fare much better in a three-run eighth that allowed Atlanta to cut the lead to 5-4, but Sveum says he has the makeup of a closer.
Fujikawa has 219 saves and a 1.77 ERA over 12 years with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan’s Central League.
Sveum indicated that Marmol, who has a 27.00 ERA in three appearances this season, will try to work out his problems in a setup role.
Freeman headed to DL
The Atlanta Braves placed first baseman Freddie Freeman on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained right oblique.
Freeman, who his hitting .417 with one homer and seven RBI through the first five games, said he was upset that team management did not tell him before making the decision.
He added that the injury first occurred in a workout March 31, the day before the season started, and that he wanted to keep playing through the pain.
Bautista misses third game
Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista was held out of the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, the third straight game he’s missed with a sore right ankle.
The two-time major-league home run leader twisted his ankle stepping on first base while beating out a double play in the eighth inning of Thursday’s win over the Indians.