For first time, Tolleson can't close out game

For first time, Tolleson can't close out game

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Colby Lewis could empathize with what closer Shawn Tolleson went through on Saturday night.

"Tolley has been great all year," Lewis said. "We all go through things. You're not going to be perfect every time out. It's just one of those things. We don't have any less confidence in him."

Tolleson had been a perfect 13-for-13 in save opportunities since taking over as closer in May. But he suffered his first blown save on Saturday night when Yangervis Solarte hit a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning that gave the Padres a 6-5 victory over the Rangers.

Tolleson had a 5-3 lead going into the ninth before the Padres rallied to win. 

"Obviously I'm anxious to get right back out there," Tolleson said. "The guys played well, unfortunately we didn't come out on top."

Tolleson started the inning by getting Jedd Gyorko on a fly to deep center. Will Venable then bunted down the first-base line and beat it out for a hit. That brought up Brett Wallace, and Tolleson got ahead, 1-2, in the count. Tolleson missed with a fastball and then threw an inside changeup that fooled Wallace. But the pinch-hitter got enough of it to bloop one into right field for a single that moved Venable to third.

After Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner pinch-ran for Wallace, Melvin Upton Jr. lined a single down the left-field line. A run scored but Cashner was thrown out trying to go from first to third by left fielder Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton throws out Cashner

Tolleson, holding a one-run lead, needed just one more out. He tried to go inside on a 1-1 fastball to Solarte, but Solarte lofted the pitch down the right field line and the ball fell into the first row of the bleachers.

"My command might not have been as good," Tolleson said. "But Venable got on with a bunt hit, I threw a really really good changeup to Wallace, and he flicked it over second. That was a good pitch. The one pitch to Solarte was right where I wanted it. Maybe it was not the best pitch selection."

Tolleson then gave up a single to Matt Kemp before manager Jeff Banister brought in Spencer Patton.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.