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Dellin Betances stuns Yankees by allowing tying two-run homer in ninth

Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances reacts as Tampa

Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances reacts as Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. hits a two-run home run to tie the score at 2-2 during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, July 4, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The situation was familiar as Dellin Betances took the mound Saturday with four outs to go.

It took a turn for the uncharacteristic, however, when he surrendered a tying two-run homer by Rays rightfielder Steven Souza Jr., the third batter he faced.

It was Betances' second blown save this season, but he got credit for the victory when the Yankees rallied for a walk-off 3-2 win.

"It's pretty shocking," Joe Girardi said of Betances. "You haven't seen him do it much, but it just shows you that on any given day, somebody can be human.

"You can make a mistake and leave a ball up, somebody hits that, sometimes they pop it up, sometimes they swing through it. Souza Jr. did it today, and it doesn't happen very often."

Betances has been reliable while filling in for injured closer Andrew Miller, who has been out of action since June 11 with a left flexor forearm strain.

Entering the game, Betances had struck out 31 of his last 68 batters he faced and led all major league relievers with 66 strikeouts. He has seven saves and a 1.50 ERA in 42 innings pitched.

"I guess once in a while you can give up a few," said Betances, who was victimized by a hanging curveball and wondered aloud if Souza was waiting for a certain pitch. "I throw that pitch every time and they either get swung for misses or strike three looking."

Shock over Betances was a theme throughout the locker room, verbalized by Michael Pineda, John Ryan Murphy and Brett Gardner.

"I'm surprised any time Dellin gives up a hit, really," Gardner said. "A lot of guys really struggle off of him. He throws 95 to 100, he's got a real good curveball. He left that curveball up."

"This is what makes you strong, times like these," Betances said. "You're not always going to be perfect, as much as you want to. Times like these will help you be a better pitcher. Short-term memory is the key for bullpen guys and I'll be ready the next time out."

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