MLB notes: Mets have faith in struggling Francisco

Mets closer Frank Francisco celebrates a win against the Phillies with catcher Josh Thole at...

Mets closer Frank Francisco celebrates a win against the Phillies with catcher Josh Thole at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia, Penn., April 13, 2012. (TIM SHAFFER/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:27 PM ET

The New York Mets will stick with Frank Francisco as their closer, even though he has given up runs in each of his past four appearances.

"I just told him (that Sunday) was one of those days, that he's still the closer here and to be ready to pitch when we get him back out there," Mets manager Terry Collins told ESPN New York on Monday.

Francisco has a 0-1 record with an 8.53 earned-run average and three saves in seven appearances.

Francisco signed a two-year $12-million contract as a free agent after struggling at times in 2011 as the Toronto Blue Jays closer.

Coincidentally, next in line for the job with the Mets, should Francisco falter, is Jon Rauch. Rauch also was a Jays closer for part of the 2011 season.

RODRIGUEZ RETIRES

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez returned Monday to his original big-league home in Texas to officially announce his retirement.

Rodriguez, 40, caught a record 2,427 games for six teams over 21 seasons.

"Today is a very hard day for me," he said at the Ballpark in Arlington. "It has been a great, great run, 21 years have been beautiful."

"I want to thank the fans here in Texas and all over baseball," said Rodriguez, who played 12 seasons with the Rangers and won the World Series in 2003 with the Florida Marlins.

A STRIKE FOR CLEMENS

The judge ruled in Roger Clemens' favour Monday when he barred prosecutors at a perjury trial from asking his former teammate, Andy Pettitte, where he got his steroids.

Clemens is facing charges of lying to a congressional committee about whether he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens told the committee in 2008 he had not used steroids. He was indicted in 2010 for perjury and obstruction.

Prosecutors had intended to try to link Clemens to the same supplier of banned drugs that Pettitte used -- trainer Brian McNamee.

WILLIS WALKS OUT

Pitcher Dontrelle Willis was placed on the restricted list by the Orioles after the left-hander walked out on Baltimore's triple-A Norfolk farm team.

Baltimore general manager Dan Duquette told CBSSports.com that Willis left the team after a disagreement about whether he should start or relieve.

The Orioles think the 30-year-old would be useful as a reliever and would welcome him back, but Willis apparently wants to be a starter.

BRIEFLY

San Francisco Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who hasn't played in the majors since dislocating his right shoulder last June 10, began a minor-league assignment Monday in single-A San Jose ... St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay has no structural damage in his right shoulder, which he hurt when he ran into an outfield wall last Thursday. He could be back in the lineup this week against the Chicago Cubs ... Pitcher Derek Lowe, 38, had a 2004 World Series ring and trophy stolen from his Florida home, the Fort Myers News-Press reported. Lowe, now with the Cleveland Indians, was the winning pitcher in Game 4 as the Boston Red Sox blanked the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 to sweep the Series ... Boston Red Sox outfielder Jason Repko was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a left shoulder injury. The Red Sox recalled Lars Anderson from triple-A Pawtucket ... Veteran designated hitter Hideki Matsui is expected to sign soon with the Tampa Bay Rays, YES Network reported Monday. Matsui, 38, will get a minor-league deal ... The Cleveland Indians activated infielder Asdrubal Cabrera off the bereavement list. Cabrera had been in Venezuela following a death of a family member. The Indians optioned pitcher Nick Hagadone to triple-A Columbus.


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