DETROIT -- The Tigers' closer role still belongs to Joe Nathan, at least for Wednesday night's game.
Manager Brad Ausmus said, in the event of another save situation against the Blue Jays, Nathan will be getting the ball. On Tuesday night, Nathan matched a career high as a reliever by surrendering four earned runs, allowing Toronto to take the lead in the top of the ninth.
Nathan, who signed with Detroit in the offseason after two All-Star seasons with the Rangers, has blown four saves in 17 opportunities this year.
Ausmus said Wednesday that he spoke with the 39-year-old Nathan following Tuesday's outing. The skipper didn't disclose how the conversation went but acknowledged Nathan's walk of the Blue Jays' leadoff hitter as his biggest mistake.
"We've got to get their leadoff guy," Ausmus said. "Joe knows that."
Nathan said after Tuesday's game that he doesn't care that some Comerica Park fans booed him on his way off the mound. As a 14-year veteran, Ausmus expects that stoic mentality from his closer, no matter who is in that role.
"Every pitcher is an individual, so they react differently to what's happening," Ausmus said. "Joe has been doing this for a very long time. He's obviously experienced failure in the past. He's not perfect in closing out games in his career.
"The best closers have the ability to put that last blown save behind them. As a closer, you have to have a special makeup mentally. It's a special breed to be a closer."
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.