{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

McGee comes through, fills in for Rodney

McGee comes through, fills in for Rodney

|
McGee comes through, fills in for Rodney

ST. PETERSBURG -- Being on a winning streak is a good thing in all but perhaps one respect -- your closer can get overworked.

Rays manager Joe Maddon found himself clinging to a one-run lead on Thursday but Fernando Rodney had appeared in three consecutive games. Maddon instead handed the ball to seventh-inning specialist Jake McGee. McGee had appeared in five career save situations but failed to convert any of them.

McGee didn't disappoint this time, retiring three Twins in order and striking out two, using just 12 total pitches for his first Major League save.

"It felt good to get that first save out of the way," McGee said Friday. "It took a long time but it was cool to do it in a one-run game."

McGee has allowed just three earned runs since May 7 and has done it using primarily one pitch, his fastball. He will occasionally mix in a slider here or there but his fastball in the mid-90s has been working just fine of late.

That wasn't always the case. McGee gave up five runs in an inning on two occasions earlier this season.

Maddon has long said McGee doesn't need more than the one pitch but the secret to success for him lies in location.

"He's throwing that fastball where he wants to," Maddon said. "He wasn't doing that as often early in the season."

McGee acknowledges he must start to develop other pitches because he will lose velocity later in his career but locating the fastball is working for now.

"I think I'm getting ahead early and I'm able to locate high fastballs," he said. "Earlier in the year, I would yank it here or there. It wasn't going where I wanted it to."

Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español