BALTIMORE -- Rafael Soriano has been named the Yankees' third closer in the last two weeks, and the right-hander is thrilled to be receiving the assignment.
Soriano, who saved an American League-leading 45 games for the Rays in 2010, slides into the closer role following injuries to both Mariano Rivera and David Robertson.
"You've got to keep going, because we lost Mariano first and the bullpen tried to do whatever it had to do," Soriano said. "Now, with two guys down, it's not going to be easy for us. We're trying to be together, the bullpen and the team, and win."
While Soriano willingly signed a three-year, $35 million deal with the Yankees after the 2010 season to serve as a setup man, he left no question that he feeds off the adrenaline of saving games.
"Everybody, I think, knows what I can do in the ninth," Soriano said. "Sometimes it's not easy. ... I know what I've got, and everybody knows what I have, what I can do. And I'm looking forward to it."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was pleased by Soriano's comments and said that he remembers Soriano as being very consistent and durable in the closer role.
"I think there's an adrenaline that goes into the ninth inning, and it's something that he's been very successful at," Girardi said. "I can understand why he would say that. I've been pleased with the way he's thrown the ball for us, and I'm not surprised that he said that."
Soriano had a rough adjustment to New York last year, seeing his ERA jump from 1.73 in 2010 to 4.12, but the right-hander said that he is more settled this year because he is more comfortable with his role.
"I think the people forgot  already," Soriano said. "I don't think about what happened last year because it's already gone. I'm focused on this year."