Francona says fatigue not an issue for Allen

Closer has blown saves in last two appearances.

Cleveland Indians closer Cody Allen has had a couple of tough appearances in a row. 

Kyle Terada / USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND -- After blowing save opportunities in his past two appearances, many are wondering if fatigue has caught up to Cody Allen. Going into tonight's game against Detroit, Allen is second in the American League in appearances (66) and 10th in saves with 18.

Before giving up a home run to Alex Gordon on Sunday in Kansas City, Allen had converted 17 consecutive save opportunities over 38 appearances dating back to May 30. In 37 2/3 innings he had allowed only three earned runs and had struck out 52 against 13 walks. In his past two games, Allen has allowed four earned runs and two home runs.

When asked if he senses fatigue in Allen, manager Terry Francona did not think that was the case.

"He was firing it last night. The workload is a lot and the high leverage innings. I think he works so hard to answer the bell," Francona said. "He got behind Gordon and threw him a fastball and last night it was tough night for him. You're facing the middle of their lineup and some nights you're not commanding he is still good enough."

LINEUP NOTES: Jason Giambi gets his first start since June 11 as he will bat eighth and be the designated hitter. Giambi is batting .125 with two home runs and five RBI.

Zach Walters will get his first start in right field. Since being called up, Walters has been the designated hitter in 14 games and played left three times. Because of the different lineup combinations, Francona said it has been easier to have Walters mostly DH.

"We want to see him play the infield too. With the thunder in the bat we want to get a feel for his strengths and like what he brings," Francona said. "He has been taking ground balls at short and third and in the outfield."

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