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Joel Hanrahan

Joel Hanrahan

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Hanrahan out as Nationals closer for 2nd timeBy JOSEPH WHITE â€" Jun 6, 2009WASHINGTON (AP) — Baseball's worst pitching staff is changing closers yet again.Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta said Saturday that Joel Hanrahan has lost the wrap-up job for the second time this season.

Mike MacDougal, who was working on a minor league contract a little more than a week ago, will take over the role.Hanrahan is 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA in 27 games.

He started the season as the closer, was demoted to middle relief in late April, then restored as the closer in mid-May.

The 27-year-old right-hander has allowed runs in each of his last three outings, including a pair of runs in the 10th inning of Friday night's 3-1 loss to the New York Mets."We're just going to have him relax again and pitch in the middle of the games and get his confidence back," Acta said.

"I spoke to him and told him that I have a lot of faith in him and I proved that, but right now he hasn't been consistent enough to be pitching back there."Hanrahan didn't want to discuss the matter when approached by reporters in the clubhouse before Saturday's game against the Mets."Nothing for you.

Been through it before," Hanrahan said.

"Same thing.

There's your line."MacDougal was the Kansas City Royals closer earlier in the decade, recording 27 saves in 2003 and 21 in 2005.

The 32-year-old right-hander had a 12.46 ERA in five appearances with the Chicago White Sox this year before they released him on April 29.The Nationals signed him to a minor league deal on May 3, then selected his contract on May 29.

He has yet to allow a run in four appearances with Washington."It's good," MacDougal said.

"It's been a while since I've done it, and I look forward to doing it again."The Nationals' 5.61 ERA is by far the worst in the majors.

The relievers are 4-18 with a 5.74 ERA.Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press.

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