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Gregerson to close in Street's absence

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SAN DIEGO -- Setup man Luke Gregerson will serve as the Padres' closer while Huston Street is on the disabled list with a strained left calf.

Sometimes pitchers struggle to get over a mental hurdle between the eighth and ninth innings.

"I just think the biggest difference is controlling your emotions," Gregerson said. "Not letting the aspect of the ninth inning or that role of the closer get in your head. The aspect of those last three innings of the game are all very similar."

Gregerson pointed out that at times he'd have to go through an opponents' heart of the order in the eighth inning and the closer may get to face the seven, eight and nine hitters.

Gregerson handled his new role well on Saturday, recording his first save of the season, making him the first Padres pitcher other than Street to save a game this season.

The Blue Jays did score a run against Gregerson, snapping his personal 15 2/3 scoreless innings streak. Gregerson owns a minuscule 1.09 ERA in 25 games.

"They're all pressure situations at that point," Gregerson said. "So continue whatever it is you do in the previous innings and not let the mental side get to you of what the closer roles entails."

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

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