CLEVELAND -- Rafael Soriano acted on instinct.
That was all he had time for.
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With one out in the ninth inning Sunday, Jason Kipnis sent a screaming liner at Soriano's head. He put up his hands in self-defense and the ball glanced off the base of his right hand.
Soriano righted himself, found the ball, threw out Kipnis -- and quickly was approached by Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue.
"It feels a little bit sore, which I think is normal,'' said Soriano, who earned his 33rd save in 35 chances by getting the last four outs. "We'll see what happens tomorrow . . . Everything should be fine and I'll be ready for tomorrow."
David Robertson, who had just finished throwing 11/3 scoreless innings, watched from the dugout. "It's scary for any pitcher to see that," he said. "That's the worst thing that can happen. Those comebackers get on you quick."
That was the case for Soriano on Aug. 28, 2006, when, pitching for the Mariners, he was struck near the back of his head by Vladimir Guerrero's line drive. He suffered a concussion and missed the rest of that season.
"I'm not scared at all," Soriano said, referring to how he felt as Kipnis' drive came back at him. "I'm just trying to find the ball and get people out."
Girardi's feelings were more closely aligned with Robertson's than Soriano's. "I thought it just hit his glove at first," he said. "But when I get out there and see it hit his hand, I became pretty concerned because that ball was hit pretty hard. You worry because bullpen guys are hard to replace. Hopefully, he's OK."
Happy homecomingBefore talking to reporters, Robertson's face was locked on his phone, which had just shown a text message. His wife, Erin, is due any day with the couple's first child. Robertson hopes to be home when she delivers.
"It has been a bit of nerve-rattling week," Robertson said, relaxing once he saw that the text didn't bring that news. "I'm about ready to get back to New York, I'll be honest with you guys."
Robertson said every time his phone rings or he sees a text, "I get a little bit nervous."
What would he like to hear from doctors? "Basically that they would be turned loose to do what they need to do," Girardi said before Sunday's game. "I've seen significant progress this week."
The next step for Pettitte, on the disabled list since June 28 with a fractured left fibula, is to throw off a mound. The lefthander said his best-case scenario is to do that by Tuesday.
Rodriguez, on the DL since June 25 with a left fifth metacarpal fracture, started doing tee-and-toss work with both hands this weekend, and the hope is he soon can begin taking batting practice.
All's well that ends well Curtis Granderson was 3-for-20 on the road trip when he batted in the sixth, and he appeared disgusted when he lifted a towering fly ball to rightfield, tossing his bat aside. But the ball kept carrying, and now he has 200 career home runs.