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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees’ Mariano Rivera blows three straight saves for first time in career

08.12.13 at 8:17 am ET

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MLB: Angels at Yankees, 7 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ When Mariano Rivera was mowing down hitters with regularity earlier in the year, there was speculation that the legendary Yankees closer would reconsider his decision to retire at the end of the season.

That talk has quieted down, especially after Rivera blew his third consecutive save Sunday — the first time in his career he’s squandered three straight — by allowing solo home runs to Tigers sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez that tied the game at 4. The Yankees managed to pull out the win when Brett Gardner homered in the bottom of the ninth.

“Mo has bailed us out quite a few times,” said Gardner, who also had the winning single in the ninth inning Friday night after Rivera’s second straight blown save.

Rivera now has five blown saves in 40 opportunities this season.

Explained the 43-year-old: “Those balls were up, not where they were supposed to be. I didn’t throw the ball where I wanted. [On Friday] we won, and this one we won, and that’s the main thing.”

Also in the game, Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run, calling it “a step in the right direction” as he moved with 12 homers of Willie Mays for fourth all-time and broke a tie with Stan Musial for sixth on the all-time RBIs list.

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander offered limited praise for A-Rod.

“I thought he looked great, the pitch he hit for a homer, a pop-up in most ballparks,” Verlander said with a laugh. “I don’t know. It could’ve gone out in some other parks, but here it is kind of a no-doubter.”

The Yankees, who won their first series in over a month, are 10 games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox and seven games behind the A’s for the second wild card spot.

‘™¦ After helping the Orioles to a 10-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Sunday, outfielder Adam Jones tweeted that a fan threw a banana into the outfield during the game. Jones, who is black, lashed out at the unknown perpetrator.


A Giants spokesman said the team received no reports of the incident but that it would review security video.

Later Sunday night, Jones sent out two more tweets apparently related to his earlier comment.

Tweeted Jones: I love how some ppl are defending the actions by someone today. Shows how u really are also, All good wit me. I just #StayHungry.

And: Good chance this means I get off social media soon.

‘™¦ Kevin Durant might be playing in Oklahoma City, but he hasn’t forgotten where he got his start in the NBA. The Thunder star returned to Seattle on Sunday and scored 62 points in a game as part of the Jamal Crawford Summer Pro-Am.

“I just want to say I miss you guys,” Durant told a crown about 3,000 at Seattle Pacific University. “Thank you for the warm welcome. I can’t wait to come back.”

Durant was the NBA Rookie of the Year for the SuperSonics in 2008, the last year the team played in Seattle.

“It’s huge. Seattle feels like he was stolen from us. He’s arguably the second-best player in the NBA, some say he’s the first, so for us to get to see him up close and personal again; it was special for me to get to play with him,” said Seattle native Will Conroy, a journeyman pro who played in the game. “I overpassed it to him like 10 times, but I didn’t care. It was special. Even me, I couldn’t sleep last night. I was excited.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 12, 1986, which Red Sox pitcher pinch hit and singled in a 6-5 loss to the Royals in Kansas City?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “For me to walk two in one inning let alone to lead off the game is hard to believe. I didn’t execute and I lost the game.” — Red Sox starter John Lackey, after Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Royals

STAT OF THE DAY: 9.77 — Time run by Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in regaining his 100-meter title at the world championships in Moscow

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): From the Travis Roy Wiffle Ball Tournament at Little Fenway in Essex, Vt., Konnor Fleming of the Cruaders leaps over the wall to make a game-ending catch in a 3-0 victory over the Hardshells.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Dire Straits lead singer Mark Knopfler was born on this day in 1949.

Read More: Adam Jones, alex rodriguez, Kevin Durant, Mariano Rivera