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Betancourt to resume closing duties upon return

Betancourt to resume closing duties upon return

Betancourt to resume closing duties upon return

BOSTON -- Rex Brothers filled in admirably for Rafael Betancourt -- Brothers hasn't allowed a run since April 6 -- but Betancourt will return to his normal role as closer when he's activated from the 15-day disabled list, which will likely be on Friday.

Betancourt, who hasn't played since May 31 because of a right groin strain, threw at Fenway Park before Tuesday's game as he nears a return to his ninth-inning duties with the Rockies.

"Everything went well today and we'll see how he feels tomorrow, make sure there are no issues tomorrow and we'll go from there," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

Brothers was 3-for-3 in save chances in Betancourt's absence. The 25-year-old lefty has allowed just three total hits in nine June appearances and hasn't allowed a run in 31 straight appearances spanning 29 innings. He's four innings shy of Ubaldo Jimenez's club record of 33 consecutive scoreless innings. Brothers' 0.28 ERA is the best in the Majors.

But the return of Betancourt will allow Weiss to use Brothers in key situations in the seventh or eighth inning, giving some more depth to a bullpen that ranks 14th in the Majors with a 3.55 ERA.

"He'll come back to close," Weiss said of Betancourt, who has a 3.20 ERA and is 11-for-12 in save chances this season. "It gives us a little more flexibility with Rex. Preferably the eighth inning, but maybe a situation where we go to him in the seventh."

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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