Red Sox pleased with Uehara's recent improvement

Red Sox pleased with Uehara's recent improvement

BOSTON -- Though Koji Uehara isn't likely to close a game for the rest of the season, the Red Sox are pleased with the strides he's made over the last couple of weeks.

Uehara was taken out of the closer's role after a blown save against the Yankees on Sept. 4.

In the three low-leverage situations he's pitched since then, Uehara hasn't allowed an earned run, and his splitter has regained the familiar bite that it lacked during the slump.

"The last two times out, his stuff to me has been as good as it has been any time of the year," said manager John Farrell. "Particularly the outing over in Pittsburgh where the action to his split finger was Koji-like. So pitching him in a save situation is not something we have to check off the list."

Uehara is a free agent after the season, and the Red Sox hope they can retain him for 2015.

"I think he's answered some of the questions we had whether it was from a rest period and then coming back to execute pitches," said Farrell. "So yeah, the last three outings have been positive for him."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.