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Tweak to slider helping Street succeed

Tweak to slider helping Street succeed

Tweak to slider helping Street succeed

MILWAUKEE -- Closer Huston Street wouldn't normally do this, but when things turned bad for him early in the season -- he allowed 10 home runs in his first 26 1/3 innings -- he welcomed the input of a variety of his peers and members of the coaching staff.

"I'm very lucky to have [manager] Buddy Black, [pitching coach] Darren Balsley and [bullpen coach] Willie Blair, and my teammates … these guys see things," Street said before Tuesday's game. "I wouldn't normally do that, but it needed to be said."

Balsley started having Street use a different grip on his slider that, ideally, would produce a tighter spin and offer a sharper break.

Street has leaned on that slider a lot lately, and he hasn't allowed a run in his last six appearances. In a 5-3 win over the Brewers on Monday, Street worked a 1-2-3 inning for his 17th save this season in 18 opportunities.

"The last three weeks have started to feel more right for me," said Street, who wasn't needed in Tuesday's 6-2 win over the Brewers.

Street's struggles -- the four losses, the one blown save, the number of base runners -- were something he wasn't accustomed to.

"We're all competitive. So you balance your ego with how you're helping the team," Street said. "I felt I was doing a good job in the save situations. But the other part, you have to still be able to execute your pitches."

Street feels he's in a better place now than he was a month ago, though he's still wary about getting too far ahead of himself.

"I've been at this point of the year with six blown saves and with no blown saves," Street said. "It's a full season for a reason. There are still a lot of games left and a lot of pitches left to make."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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