ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In the overall scheme of things, it really didn't mean much, but it was pretty obvious that Joe Girardi wasn't thrilled by the sight of Alfonso Soriano styling over his long drive to left in the sixth inning of Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Rays. Soriano was so sure he had hit a home run that he flipped the bat away and lingered in the batter's box before skipping down toward first base.
Much to his chagrin, the ball did not leave the yard, but wound up nestled in the glove of Sean Rodriguez, who made a leaping catch at the wall.
At first, Girardi defended Soriano.
"I think he thought he had a home run," Girardi said. "Guys are going to misread balls. It happens. When it happens, it doesn’t look good, but they’re human. He’s hit enough of them, I’m sure he’s pretty used to when he knows he gets one."
But when pressed on what his reaction would have been if the ball had hit the wall instead, Girardi said, "I think he still would have been on second base."
Then he added, "He better be."
Here are a few more postgame notes:
• Girardi said he had no reason to believe Derek Jeter, who went 1-for-3 in what is expected to be his final rehab game for Triple-A Scranton, would not rejoin the team Monday in Toronto. "I haven't heard anything otherwise," he said.
• Brett Gardner, who got hit on the right hand by Chris Archer on Friday night, was held out of the lineup against David Price but, as Girardi had said, was available to pinch-hit on Saturday. He hit for Vernon Wells in the ninth and made the last out of the game, flying out to shallow center.