Soria not letting blown save, loss get to him

Reliever 'cannot be frustrated,' believes pitch to Upton well located

Soria not letting blown save, loss get to him

KANSAS CITY -- The frustrations of Royals fans during a rough week finally reached their zenith in the eighth inning of the Royals' 6-5 loss to the Tigers on Sunday, as boos rained down on Royals reliever Joakim Soria.

Soria had just allowed a two-run homer to Detroit's Justin Upton on a pitch down in the strike zone as the Tigers wiped out a 5-4 deficit and washed away the Royals' good feelings from a four-run rally of their own in the seventh.

The loss stung, as did three other one-run defeats on a 2-4 homestand, as the Royals continue to cling to diminishing hopes of reaching the postseason.

Soria has heard the boos before this season. This was his fifth blown save and his seventh loss.

"Like I said before, this is entertainment for people," Soria said. "People come to the stadium to have fun in their lives. If they feel they want to boo, they boo. If they want to cheer, they cheer. We are a show for them. They can do whatever they please."

Soria did not believe the pitch to Upton was in a bad location. It was low and inside, and Upton powered it to right-center.

Upton's two-run homer

"Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the hitter," Soria said. "It was a really good pitch that he was able to hit it out of the ballpark, and to center field. That's tough to do. But he had the strength.

"I'm happy with the pitch. If he hit it, I can't control it."

Soria's season has been filled with good pitches that have produced poor results for him. Obviously, he also has pitched poorly at times.

"You're right. For the most part, you're right," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "There's times where those pitches aren't well executed. But for the most part, they were. And this was another case of it. [Upton] drives it out to the biggest part of the ballpark, on a pitch that's about 12 inches off the ground. "

Soria was in the game in the eighth only because closer Wade Davis was unavailable after going two straight nights. Rookie left-hander Matt Strahm also was unavailable after getting hot in the bullpen three times Saturday night.

Yost said he did not consider using Kelvin Herrera to get through the meat of the Tigers' order in the eighth.

"Your options there were [Brooks] Pounders, Chris Young or Soria," Yost said. "Herrera was going to have to close it out. And Soria went through the meat of the order last night. He's more than capable of doing that."

Soria's ERA rose to 3.94.

"I cannot be frustrated," he said. "I'm in the Major Leagues and I'm doing my best. All the time I'm out there I try to perform my best. I can control where my pitches go, but that's it.

"Today I controlled the ball down and in. That's what it is. It's tough."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.