Cardinals new closer?

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Hard-throwing Mitchell Boggs is 3 for 3 in save

chances since the St. Louis Cardinals demoted Ryan Franklin last

week. Heading into a six-game trip that begins Tuesday at Houston,

manager Tony La Russa insists nothing has changed in the pecking


The official line from the top: Franklin's responsibilities are

still being reduced to help get him back on track.

La Russa is obviously saving Boggs for the last three outs but

refuses to anoint the right-hander, who has eight consecutive

scoreless appearances since allowing two runs on opening day.

Boggs can be intimidating with a mid-90s fastball and has 15

strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings, better fitting the typical closer

mold than the 38-year-old Franklin.