Soria gets first Royals save in nearly five years

Soria gets first Royals save in nearly five years

HOUSTON -- Jack is back.

Royals reliever Joakim Soria, who re-joined the club this offseason after four years away, recorded his first save for the Royals since Sept. 11, 2011, in the Royals' 4-2 win over the Astros on Wednesday night.

Soria's last save as a Royal was so long ago, he had absolutely no recollection of it.

"I don't really remember that one," Soria said, smiling. "It was a long time ago. It was a good feeling tonight, though.

"There was a little bit of memories in there, but I just wanted to do my best to win the ballgame."

Soria discusses his save

Earlier in the day, Royals manager Ned Yost defended using Soria late in games, as Royals fans had become concerned after Soria gave up three runs vs. the Mets on Opening Night.

But with closer Wade Davis not available after throwing 33 pitches the night before, Yost didn't hesitate turning to Soria for the final three outs.

"That's who he is," Yost said. "He's a guy with 202 career saves, now 203."

Soria made quick work of the Astros, retiring them in order on five pitches.

"The Houston Astros are an aggressive team," Soria said. "They tend to swing at the first pitch. They did with the last two batters. Just glad they hit to one of our guys both times."

While Soria didn't get too sentimental about his first save as a Royal in nearly five years, he was sentimental about something else.

"My parents were here [from Mexico], and it was so good for them to see me again pitch as a Royal and get the save," Soria said.

As for that shaky first outing on Opening Night, Soria said that is all behind him. He's come back with four straight solid outings.

"Well, yeah, since the second outing, I think it's all working better now," he said. "It's a long season. I'll just keep fighting and battling to make the rest of the season good."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.