Nationals' closer Rafael Soriano is apparently not perfect... blows first save of 2014 vs Athletics

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It had to happen some time, right? 7 for 7 in 2014 save opportunities and 19 for 19 overall since last August, Washington Nationals' closer Rafael Soriano finally blew a save last night, and the Oakland A's rallied in the ninth and walked off in the 10th...

When he entered the game, Rafael Soriano was a perfect 7 for 7 in save opportunities in 2014 and 19 for 19 overall since he last blew one back on August 17, 2013 in Atlanta. Washington's 34-year-old, $28M dollar closer took the mound in the O.co Coliseum in Oakland in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday night with a 3-1 lead and gave up a run that broke a streak of 25 scoreless innings, a career high. Then he blew his first save. By the time Soriano recorded the final out of the 15-pitch frame, it was a 3-3 game.

"Going into the ninth with a two-run lead, with a guy that hasn't given up a run in 25 innings and it doesn't happen for you..." - Matt Williams on Rafael Soriano's blown save

"Going into the ninth with a two-run lead," Matt Williams said after the game, "with a guy that hasn't given up a run in 25 innings and it doesn't happen for you, it's disappointing, but that's baseball. Have to come play tomorrow."

The A's rallied to tie it in the ninth then beat the Nationals for the second straight night when John Jaso doubled off the high wall in right, just out of Nate McLouth's reach. Pinch runner Nick Punto scored from first on the walk-off hit and the Athletics took the series and set themselves up with an opportunity to sweep the visiting Nats in the finale of the three-game set on Sunday afternoon.

"Ball's up in the strike zone a little bit, but they put good swings on him. Jam shot base hit to start it off and then a double and then a base hit to tie it." - Matt Williams on Rafael Soriano's blown save vs A's

Nationals' starter Tanner Roark surrendered just two hits in 7 2/3 IP against the Athletics. Tyler Clippard inherited and handled a runner on third, two-out situation, popping Derek Norris up to end the A's eighth.

Athletics' lefty Sean Doolittle retired the Nationals in order in the top of the ninth inning.

Jaso's ninth inning leadoff single off Soriano was the second of the A's catcher's three hits in five plate appearances Saturday night. He scored when Jed Lowrie doubled to center on a high 88 mph 1-1 fastball from Soriano in the next at bat.

Lowrie tied the game up when he scored from second on Josh Donaldson's single to left in spite of a strong, accurate throw in from by Zach Walters that Soriano unexpectedly cut in front of home plate before everyone found out if the Nats' left fielder would get an outfield assist in his first major league game as a left fielder.

Williams admitted he wasn't sure why Soriano cut the throw or why he was out in front of home plate instead of behind it.

He thought it was going to be close.

"I think we've got a chance," the first-year skipper said. "I don't know why he cut that ball off. One, he should be backing up the plate in case the ball gets by, so I don't know what he's doing there, I don't know why he cut it."

Soriano said he knew he made a mistake.

What went wrong for Soriano on the mound?

"Nothing in particular," Williams said. "Ball's up in the strike zone a little bit, but they put good swings on him. Jam shot base hit to start it off and then a double and then a base hit to tie it. So, they just put good swings on him."

"Just up in the zone," he continued. "Balls left up. The ball Donaldson hit was a hanging slider. Made a good pitch on Jaso to start the inning and he fisted one into left and the ball to Lowrie was up too. Just up in the strike zone."

The A's tied it in the ninth and walked off in the tenth and the Nationals dropped their second straight on the road in Oakland.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker