MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke says Francisco Rodriguez will replace struggling reliever John Axford as the team's closer.
Roenicke said before Tuesday night's game against St. Louis that he spoke with Axford earlier in the day to explain his decision.
Handed a two-run lead against the Cardinals on Monday night, Axford allowed three runs in the ninth inning and the Brewers lost 3-2. Axford has 16 saves in 22 chances this season, struggling to find the dominant form he showed in 2011.
Rodriguez, who has 292 career saves, has been an eighth-inning setup man in Milwaukee.
Axford says he wasn't surprised by the decision and didn't try to talk Roenicke out of it because he wanted to put the team first.
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