After 626 saves in 19 seasons, Mariano Rivera doesn’t have many firsts left. The Mets, however, tagged him with an unfortunate one Tuesday, collecting three straight hits off him in the ninth to overcome a 1-0 deficit and beat the Yankees 2-1.
It was the first time Rivera had ever taken a blown save or a loss in an appearance without recording an out. It was just the third time that he’s appeared in a game and failed to get an out.
The Mets were fortunate to have the right part of their order up against Rivera tonight. Daniel Murphy started the bottom of the ninth with a double the other way. David Wright then singled up the middle, plating Murphy and tying the game. When the throw home got away from catcher Chris Stewart, Wright moved up to second. He then raced around ahead of Ichiro Suzuki’s throw home on Lucas Duda’s game-winning single to right.
The only previous times Rivera had appeared and not gotten an out came on Sept. 26, 1995 and Aug. 10, 2008. In the first, he was making just his eighth career relief appearance. He allowed a single to the Brewers in the eighth inning and was immediately replaced by Rick Honeycutt. The latter appearance came in the ninth inning in a tie game against the Angels. Rivera entered with two on and gave up a game-winning single to the first batter he faced.
Rivera’s blown save and loss tonight were his first since April 6, 2012. The Yankees prevailed in his each of his previous 28 appearances, with Rivera picking up saves in 23 of those games.
The defeat tonight came after the Mets honored Rivera prior to the game and had him throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.
Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.
Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.
The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Yankees guaranteed their place in the postseason with a 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Sonny Gray led the charge against their division rivals, clinching his 10th win of the season with six innings of four-hit, one-run, four-strikeout ball.
Gray worked into a little trouble in the first inning, putting runners in scoring position after Josh Donaldson drew a four-pitch walk and Justin Smoak advanced him with a single. The Yankees’ ace induced two quick outs to end the threat, but was overpowered by a Teoscar Hernandez home run in the third inning, the rookie’s fourth blast of the season:
Thankfully for the Yankees, that was the only run that slipped through the cracks. Gray finished the remainder of his outing with two hits and two walks and was backed by another three scoreless innings from the bullpen. Greg Bird supplied the go-ahead run with a three-RBI shot in the fifth inning, plating Chase Headley and Starlin Castro to give the Yankees their first lead of the night.
Todd Frazier tacked on another solo homer in the eighth, while Starlin Castro returned in the ninth to cap the win with an RBI single. Aroldis Chapman did the rest, wielding just 10 pitches to get three straight outs from Kendrys Morales, Kevin Pillar and Rob Refsnyder.
Following Saturday’s win, the Yankees have at least secured one wild card berth, though they’re not out of the division race just yet. They still sit a full four games back of first place in the AL East, with eight games left to play.