The change comes after closer Andrew Bailey blew a save opportunity against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night, giving up a two-run walk-off home run to Jhonny Peralta. Bailey blew the save in his previous opportunity as well, on June 18 against Tampa Bay. That blown save also came on the long ball -- a solo shot from Kelly Johnson. Bailey ended up earning the win when Jonny Gomes' walk-off home run bailed him out in the bottom of the ninth. In the past two weeks, Bailey has blown three save chances.
Bailey was understanding when speaking with Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald concerning the change, saying, "It's understandable. I haven't been doing the job."
Uehara has been excellent in setup work for the Red Sox this season, with a 2.10 ERA in 30 innings and 42 strikeouts against just seven walks. According to Evan Drellich of Masslive.com, Uehara's experience as a closer in Japan was a major factor in manager John Farrell's decision to use him in that capacity now.