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Fuentes sixth lefty to reach 200-save plateau

Fuentes sixth lefty to reach 200-save plateau

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Fuentes sixth lefty to reach 200-save plateau
BOSTON -- After 10 months of waiting, Brian Fuentes became the sixth left-handed reliever in Major League history to reach 200 saves on Wednesday night.

"Two hundred is a big deal to me," said Fuentes, who allowed a run before closing out the Athletics' 4-2 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. "I was talking to somebody after getting 100. I didn't know and I thought, 'That's pretty cool.' Two hundred is pretty much out of my thought for a little time, and all of a sudden, I have 199 and I'm holding steady at 199 for quite some time."

Wednesday was Fuentes' first save of the season after notching No. 199 on June 19, 2011. In a setup role this year, Fuentes was used Wednesday in the ninth because of the heavy load closer Grant Balfour has seen of late.

"Having to sit on it for as long as he did, we've always been looking for the right situation for it," manager Bob Melvin said. "It was the perfect situation for him to be able to come in. It's quite the accomplishment, it really is."

John Franco has the most saves for a left-hander, with 424. The other southpaws with more than 200 saves are Billy Wagner (422), Randy Myers (347), Dave Righetti (252) and Sparky Lyle (238).

Nine active pitchers have reached 200 saves and 43 have all-time.

Fuentes gave up two hits, one an RBI double to Dustin Pedroia, before Adrian Gonzalez, the potential tying run, grounded out to third on Fuentes' 18th pitch of the night.

"I was calm. Just felt like I normally do," Fuentes said. "We had a nice, comfortable lead, and the game seemed like it played out well. One inning, that's all I needed. We pitched very well. I think it's a sign of what we're capable of doing."

The 36-year-old Fuentes has been a late bloomer statistically. He didn't reach 100 career saves until 2008, his last of seven seasons with the Rockies. He was drafted in the 25th round in 1995 by the Mariners and is now with his fifth Major League team.

"To be able to get it finally feels good," said Fuentes. "I'm very fortunate."

Fuentes is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA, eight strikeouts and one walk in 10 innings.

"It's awesome. I feel like it's been a long time coming," said Brandon McCarthy, whose second win Fuentes protected. "I know he had been sitting on No. 199 for awhile."

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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