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Betancourt focused on helping Rockies win

Betancourt focused on helping Rockies win

Betancourt focused on helping Rockies win
ARLINGTON -- Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt refuses to moan over a lack of save opportunities.

Betancourt went into Sunday with 14 save opportunities, which is eight fewer than National League leader Craig Kimbrel of the Braves. That's a function of the team's 27-43 record.

"I don't like to think about closing situations that I'm getting or not," said Betancourt, who is 11-for-14 on save chances. "In Philadelphia, I blew a save and we lost a game [although he converted the next day]. My team works hard for eight innings, not to give me a chance to close a game but to win the game. I'm not the only one on this team.

"Thinking about that is being selfish. Yesterday [when he pitched the ninth in an 11-7 victory over the Rangers], it was not a closing situation, but for me it was. I was pitching against a very good team, a first-place team. We got the win and that's what mattered."

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Betancourt has held up fine even though he hasn't had the number of chances to close games that the Rockies would have liked. Tracy said he held Betancourt and primary righty setup man Matt Belisle as examples of the strike throwing the Rockies want to see. Each has walked seven batters this season, but five of Belisle's walks and four of Betancourt's were intentional.

"They're warriors, solid performers you feel real good about," Tracy said.

The Rockies aren't protecting a lot of leads, but a contending team that needs a dependable reliever might pursue Betancourt, who is signed through 2013 with a mutual 2014 option. Betancourt was quite emotional when the Indians, the team with which he broke into the Majors, traded him to the Rockies in 2009. But Betancourt fit in quickly and helped the Rockies get to the playoffs.

Betancourt said he would rather not be dealt, but he can handle it better if it happens.

"When you're a reliever, it seems like you are always getting traded," Betancourt said." But I was in one place for seven years, and I've been here for four more. That's out of my hands. I'd like to end my career here in Denver. But this is business.

"If it happens, it happened to me already. I know how to deal with that. If I have to go and pitch for another team, I'm going to be the same person. But I'm worrying about here, and I'm happy to be here."

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