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Porter trying to keep Veras sharp

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BOSTON -- Because the Astros have had so few save chances this year, manager Bo Porter has tried to keep closer Jose Veras sharp by pitching him with no more than three days off between outings. Veras entered Sunday having appeared in 10 games, only three of which were save situations.

"I would love for Jose Veras to close five games in a row," Porter said. "Unfortunately, we haven't had that situation, but I'm not going to stymie his ability to get out [on] the mound and get the juices flowing. It's one thing to throw in the bullpen and [another] to get live game action on the mound.

"Whether or not we have a [save] situation, I'm not going to let him sit down there four days and not get in the game. In a perfect world, you want it to be every time once he gets in the game it's a closing situation. I have to make sure and be cognizant to keep him fresh."

Veras has converted two of three save chances this year -- and only has seven career saves -- so he's still a novice when it comes to closing. He's confident the save chances are going to come.

"It's a long season," Veras said. "It doesn't matter to me, as long as I pitch to help the team win ballgames. I don't think about saves. If I can get out there and get a 1-2-3 inning and keep the lead or win the game, I will be there. We're going to be OK."

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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