Cody Allen remains Indians' closer despite his recent struggles in 9th

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona doesn't plan to change the way he uses closer Cody Allen, after the embattled right-hander gave up back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning Friday against the Royals.

Francona said Saturday that the Indians need Allen, and while Francona might use him before the ninth on occasion, there's no change to Allen's job description.

"I might pick some spots like I did the last few weeks, but other than that, we need him," Francona said. "His ERA's higher than he wants it to be. Come the end of the year if we get him on a roll, nobody's going to care."

Allen entered with a 4-3 lead on Friday night and left the mound two batters later with a loss after allowing homers to Ryan O'Hearn and Hunter Dozier.

Allen has a 4.50 ERA this season and 25 saves in 29 opportunities. He has allowed runs in each of his past three appearances and has blown two of his past six save chances. Meanwhile, Brad Hand, a left-hander acquired from the San Diego Padres in July, has two of the past four saves for the American League Central-leading Indians.

"Our bullpen, we know what we have. We need those guys, wherever they pitch, to be weapons. That's the goal," Francona said. "To me, Cody has been the closer for a while. I think if anyone had their choice, they'd pick the ninth. But our guys do a good job of pitching when they're asked to."