“When he looked twice I changed my mind to go because most pitchers, they don’t look three times,” Soriano said. “When he looked twice and he looked home I just took off. Ninety-nine percent when they looked twice, they’re going home.”
It was Soriano’s 14th stolen base of the season — and fourth since joining the Yankees July 26 — but the outfielder said he’s still confident in his ability to take one in a big spot.
“I like to steal, that’s my game,” he said. “And that was a very important bag to help the team win. I love to do that. I love to steal bases in certain situations when the team needs it.”
The victory was one the Yankees (69-61), while not quite in must-win mode, still desperately needed.
They avoided a three-game sweep and head north to Toronto to face their 2013 personal punching bag, the Blue Jays, against whom they’re 11-1 this season.
“We needed a win so bad,” Cano said. “The last thing you want is to get swept here. We fought the whole game.”
And got contributions from much of the roster in winning inside Tropicana Field for only the sixth time in their last 22 tries.
After Granderson’s sacrifice fly, Mariano Rivera, in what likely was his final appearance in this building, pitched a scoreless bottom of the 11th to record his 38th save.
He was not the only reliever to shine as David Robertson pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings and Boone Logan came in with a runner on and one out in the 10th to get a double play, the fourth turned by the Yankees in the game.
Ivan Nova, shaking off an erratic first inning, pitched a strong 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits. The righthander did walk six but induced three of the double plays.
“A lot of big performances out of a lot of people today,” Girardi said. “That’s a great team win.”