Rafael Soriano blew his third save of the year, Derek Lowe made a costly throwing error on a pickoff play in the 11th inning and Mark Teixeira injured his left calf during the three hours, 44 minutes that it took for the Yankees to suffer an 8-7 loss to the Blue Jays.
“He’s been so good for us,” manager Joe Girardi said of Soriano. “He’s done a great job. Just tonight was not his night.”
The Yankees were one out away from Soriano untucking his jersey after getting his 34th save. That out never came as Colby Rasmus crushed his hanging slider deep into the right field seats to give Toronto a 7-6 lead.
“It’s tough for our team,” starting pitcher David Phelps said. “Anybody on this team, it’s tough to watch. Our bullpen has been so good; it’s shocking.”
After Derek Jeter tied it on a mistake fastball from Toronto closer Casey Janssen just two pitches into the bottom of the ninth, the game went to the 11th and trouble found Lowe immediately. He opened the inning by giving up a leadoff single to Yorvit Torrealba who the Blue Jays pinch ran for with Mike McCoy.
On Lowe’s fourth pickoff throw, he threw it low and too far to the right. When Eric Chavez could not handle it cleanly the ball went into right field.
“It’s a simple throw to first base and it cost us,” Lowe said. “It’s unexcusable (sic) but it happened.”
The throwing error allowed McCoy to advance to third. He was able to score when Adeiny Hechavarria hit a soft grounder that Jayson Nix charged in on. As soon as Nix threw to Eric Chavez McCoy raced home and narrowly beat the throw from first base.
“It’s great baserunning by McCoy,” Girardi said. “It’s exactly what you teach. If the ball is hit a little bit harder you can’t do that, but it was the perfect ball.”
“Nothing you can do,” Jeter said. He did exactly what he was supposed to do. It was a good play on his part.”
The tough way to allow the winning run came seven innings after Teixeira suffered his second injury this month.
Just a week after recovering from a wrist injury, Teixeira fouled a changeup off his left leg. He felt it on his first step out of the batter’s box and it became worse as he ran the bases.
After scoring, he was sent for an MRI, which revealed a Grade 1 strain. That is the least severe and the same suffered by Jeter last June.
“It hurts,” said Teixeira, who had the calf taped up. “It’s sore. I know this is definitely an injury.”
That injury cost Jeter nearly a month. Teixeira seemed unsure of how long his absence would last, though Girardi said he will not play the rest of this series and likely miss this weekend’s series with Baltimore.
“He’s been such a backbone to our lineup,” Nick Swisher said. “For a guy to be out of our lineup, that’s a big deal.”
“It hurts,” Girardi said. “It’s hard to replace a middle of the order guy. It’s one of the switch hitters that we use to break up a lot of things up and it would hurt.”
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.