Redemption for Soriano
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, August 29- Rafael Soriano on Monday night was not perfect at Yankee Stadium. The efficient closer for the New York Yankees gave up a three-run homer run in the ninth inning that contributed to an extra inning loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Tuesday night he rebounded with a perfect ninth as New York evened their series with the Jays, 2-1.
The Yankees go for a rubber game win Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx in what now has become a tight race in the American League East with the Orioles and Tampa Bay.
Soriano struck out two Blue Jays and preserved a win for Phil Hughes (13-11), his sixth straight win at home.
“The best day I had all year,” commented Soriano who got his 34th save.
Hughes pitched seven good innings and the only run allowed was a home run off the bat of Adeiny Hechavarria with two outs in the fifth inning, the first of his career. The Yankees produced a run on an RBI single from Nick Swisher in the third, and Curtis Granderson got a run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
It was one of those rare games that saw the Yankees fail to hit a home run. They came into the game leading baseball with 199. Manager Joe Girardi used newly acquired Steve Pearce in the cleanup spot of the order as the designated hitter.
With Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list with a broken hand, and Mark Teixeira out for at least a week with strained left calf, two power cogs out of the lineup, his team resorted to small ball off Blue Jays starter and loser Rickey Romero.
Romero (8-12), coming off a bad start against Detroit, yielded five hits in seven innings and had an extra day of rest.
“I’m just going to build off this,” he said.
Pearce walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and advanced to third on a groundout and scored on the Granderson sacrifice fly to center.
“The little guys in the lineup did a nice job in that role,” said Girardi. “We’re a little banged up,” he said about his team that has an important three-game series starting Friday evening in the Bronx w,ith second place Baltimore.
Said Girardi about how Soriano rebounded, “It’s hard when you do your job 95 percent of the time and not as easy when you don’t.”
Email Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com Listen and watch Rich Thursday night from 10:30pm-12:30am live www.inthemixxradio.com
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