Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rafael Soriano has rare blown save as Tampa Bay Rays lose 5-4 to Toronto Blue Jays

TORONTO — Rafael Soriano's problems started Saturday night in his hotel room, when he tossed and turned and slept only a few hours. The Rays' All-Star closer still didn't feel well overall Sunday morning when he showed up at the Rogers Centre, but asking for the day off wasn't a consideration.

"That would not be me," Soriano said later. "I tried to go and do the best that I can."

But Sunday, unlike so many other days during his remarkable season, Soriano wasn't good enough, allowing a two-run walkoff homer to Adam Lind in the ninth inning. And what, with the Yankees' later loss, would have been a victory that propelled the Rays back into first place instead became a stunning 5-4 loss.

"It just happens," manager Joe Maddon said. "It's going to happen to everybody. This guy's been absolutely brilliant for us all year, and they got him today."

The loss dropped the Rays to 86-56, keeping them a half-game behind the Yankees in the AL East heading into the three-game series opening tonight at Tropicana Field and cutting their wild-card lead over the Red Sox and White Sox to 7½ games, though still a comfortable margin with only 20 games left.

Down 3-1 after a somewhat encouraging performance from struggling starter Jeff Niemann — five innings, three runs, two hits, four walks — the Rays rallied to tie in the sixth, taking advantage of some Toronto sloppiness and getting another big hit from a warming Ben Zobrist.

Then they went ahead by manufacturing a run in the ninth: Brad Hawpe walking, breaking for second then going to third as Desmond Jennings singled through the hole, and scoring on B.J. Upton's sac fly.

That put the game in Soriano's right hand, and the Rays had every reason to feel good about it.

"He's spoiled us," Maddon said. "He's been so right on the whole year."

Soriano indeed had converted a league-leading 42 of his 44 save opportunities (one shy of the team record, set by Roberto Hernandez in 1999), and his last 19 in a row (which matched the team mark). And neither of his two failures was very dramatic: one the first, and only, time he was called on to pitch in the eighth inning (at Florida June 19); and the other when he allowed the tying runs in the ninth inning (at Baltimore July 20) and the game ended up going 13.

"Come on," reliever Randy Choate said, "he's been so great all year you count it as a win if we're up in the ninth."

All of which made Sunday's outcome so unusual. After seeing Soriano's elaborate routine of celebrating a save (gesturing skyward, untucking his shirts), the Rays instead saw him make a slow walk off the mound with his head down.

"Bad day," Soriano said. "I want to be perfect every time, but I know I can't be."

The end came suddenly. Aaron Hill greeted Soriano with a hard single to left on an 0-and-1 slider. Then Soriano got ahead of Adam Lind 0-and-2 and tried to get a fastball up and in, but it wasn't quite enough of either and Lind laced it on a line drive over the rightfield wall.

"To me, it was a good pitch," Soriano said. "I don't know how he hit the ball like that."

Soriano insisted he wasn't making excuses, was sure he'd feel better soon and that tough loss would be forgotten by the time he strolls into the Trop this afternoon.

"You can't win every single day," Soriano said. "I want to, but you cannot do it."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

Blue Jays 5

Rays 4

Rafael Soriano has rare blown save as Tampa Bay Rays lose 5-4 to Toronto Blue Jays 09/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 13, 2010 8:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves

    Blogs

    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  2. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure

    Bucs

    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?

    Blogs

    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.
  4. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.

  5. Kentucky recruit, former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox among top prospects for 2018 NBA Draft

    Preps

    Less than 24 hours after the NBA Draft, analysts have already begun looking ahead to 2018.

    Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox finishes a layup during the McDonald's All-American game in March at the United Center in Chicago. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]