Right-hander Joakim Soria has been an American League All-Star selection in two of the last three years, logging at least 30 saves in each of those three seasons.
While Soria is 1-0 and has logged four saves in five opportunities this season, he has not been automatic. He has a 7.04 earned run average and has allowed six runs on eight hits and four walks in 7 2/3 innings.
He gave up four runs -- all with two out and nobody on base in a blown save on April 6 against the White Sox -- for the first time in his career.
Soria held on for an April 15 save against the Mariners, but allowed two inherited runners to score and one of his own runs, walking two, including one with the bases loaded, and a hit.
"When people say, 'What's wrong with him?' Nothing's wrong with him," Royals manager Ned Yost insists. "The fact remains he's human, he's not a machine. Things happen."
Yost blamed the bitter cold -- upper 30s with a wind-chill factor in the 20s -- for his poor April 15 outing. He said it was difficult to grip the baseball.
"It was like throwing an ice cube," Yost said.
Soria, however, did not use the freezing temperatures for a justification.
"I never put excuses on myself," Soria said. "It was a very bad outing out there. Thank God we got a win. I got lucky out there."
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