The bottom line Tuesday night is that the Texas Rangers put themselves in position to use Joakim Soria with a lead, and he couldn’t close out the win in the 13th inning.
Soria could have said that warming up in five consecutive innings wore him out, but he didn’t make any excuses, and manager Ron Washington made no apologies Wednesday for how he managed the bullpen.
“I was trying to hold onto my closer,” he said. “We put ourselves in a position we wanted to be in. Our closer didn’t get it done.”
Roman Mendez was the only reliever unavailable Wednesday after the pitched 1 2/3 innings in the 4-hour, 51-minute marathon. With Yu Darvish on the mound, the Rangers weren’t expecting a taxing night on the bullpen anyway.
But Washington had heard from some that he should have used the bullpen different. One thing he could have done was to use Soria in the 12th with one out and the bases loaded instead of Scott Baker, who got out the jam.
“And then we score, and then what am I supposed to do?” said Washington, who has a hard-and-fast rule of not using closers in tied games on the road.
The Rangers did score, as J.P. Arencibia homered started the 13th with a homer for the game’s first run. Soria then blew his second save of the season as the Yankees tied the game.
New York won it, 2-1, an inning later when the Rangers had to turn to Nick Tepesch, who remains on schedule to start Friday.
“I would have been on the back end of a Catch 22 regardless,” Washington said. “I would have been nailed up the wall whichever way I went.”
Through wins have been hard to come by for the Rangers, Soria said the blown save and eventual loss stunk as much as if the Rangers were 20 games above .500 instead of 20 below.
“I tried to hold it with a one-run lead, but, obviously, that didn’t happen,” he said. “A blown save and lose the game, hurts the same. It doesn’t matter where we are in the standings. We want to win.”