Cody Allen Jersey

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona doesn’t plan to change the way he uses closer Cody Allen, after the embattled right-hander gave up back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning Friday against the Royals.

Francona said Saturday that the Indians need Allen, and while Francona might use him before the ninth on occasion, there’s no change to Allen’s job description.

“I might pick some spots like I did the last few weeks, but other than that, we need him,” Francona said. “His ERA’s higher than he wants it to be. Come the end of the year if we get him on a roll, nobody’s going to care.”

Cody Allen allowed two solo home runs to the Royals on Friday, blowing his fourth save this season. He has a 4.50 ERA this season and 25 saves in 29 opportunities.

Allen entered with a 4-3 lead on Friday night and left the mound two batters later with a loss after allowing homers to Ryan O’Hearn and Hunter Dozier.

Allen has a 4.50 ERA this season and 25 saves in 29 opportunities. He has allowed runs in each of his past three appearances and has blown two of his past six save chances. Meanwhile, Brad Hand, a left-hander acquired from the San Diego Padres in July, has two of the past four saves for the American League Central-leading Indians.

“Our bullpen, we know what we have. We need those guys, wherever they pitch, to be weapons. That’s the goal,” Francona said. “To me, Cody has been the closer for a while. I think if anyone had their choice, they’d pick the ninth. But our guys do a good job of pitching when they’re asked to.”

Cody Allen Jersey

Boone High School alum Cody Allen has recorded at least 30 saves in each of the last three seasons.

Cody Allen went from the bullpen wild card to the Cleveland Indians’ all-time saves leader.

Not bad for a 23rd-round draft pick.

Allen, a graduate of Orlando’s Boone High School, earned career save No. 140 after striking out the side to close out a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on July 4.

Allen, who originally was drafted in 2010 by the Indians in the 16th round but did not sign, moved past Bob Wickman into the top spot.

“This is something I’m gonna be extremely proud of, and I am extremely proud of,” Allen told MLB.com after the game. “It’s one of the things that — hopefully I get to do a few more — I get to hang my hat on for my career, get to look back on. This will be one of those trademark moments.”

After saving 24 games in his first season as the closer in 2014, Allen recorded at least 30 saves each of the next three seasons. He currently has 18 saves for the Indians, who lead the American League Central.

The record-setting save marked the fifth time this season Allen has worked more than an inning to earn a save. The 29-year-old is now 17-for-18 in save chances with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

Allen, who is set to be a free agent after the season, said he never envisioned where his baseball career in Cleveland has taken him. He also credited the Indians for helping mold him into the effective closer he has become.

“I think the organization probably believed in myself more than I did at the time. And I’ve had some very, very high character and great people within the organization help me get to this point,” Allen told cleveland.com after the July 4 win. They saw potential in me and gave me the confidence I needed and helped my grind through some tough times. Honestly, I couldn’t be more privileged to be in an organization like Cleveland. I can’t imagine myself doing this anywhere else.”

In nine postseason appearances, Allen has seven saves and an ERA of 0.47.

A 2011 draft pick out of High Point University, Allen began his Indians’ career under Manny Acta before Terry Francona quickly established a new role for the right-hander. Francona saw Allen as his wild card, in part because the club already had established late-inning relievers but also because Allen was a pitcher who could work in multiple roles and thrive in pressure situations.

“I saw Cody as a guy we could use as a wild card because of his youth,” Francona told cleveland.com. “It worked well because he seemed to be at his best when there was traffic on the bases and he could get to his best stuff right away.