Soriano surprised by game-tying homer


OAKLAND, Calif. -- If you were surprised to see someone hit a home run against Rafael Soriano, who hadn't allowed one all year, so was Soriano. Even after the ball was in the air.

"I didn't think the guy hit it that good," the Yankees' closer said of Seth Smith's game-tying homer in the ninth inning of Sunday's 5-4, 12-inning loss to the A's.

"I thought it was a popup."

It wasn't a popup. It was a homer to dead center field, and it hung a blown save on Soriano for the second time all year. Soriano said he was trying to throw a lower slider to Smith, but he apparently left it up too much.

"Everybody has a bad day," Soriano said. "Today was the second time. ... I'll come back tomorrow and go 1-2-3."

Throughout the Yankees' clubhouse, they were willing to give their closer a pass on this one.

"He's been outstanding," Derek Jeter said. "He's pretty much automatic. We wouldn't be where we are now if not for how he's throwing the ball."