MINNEAPOLIS -- Mariano Rivera was delighted with his latest gift, a rocking chair constructed out of bats he had broken throughout his career, courtesy of the Minnesota Twins, even if he did have to get up out of it and go to work unexpectedly Tuesday night.
But his night's work consisted of just two pitches, the second of which was grounded to shortstop by Ryan Doumit to end the Yankees' 7-3 win at Target Field, a brief appearance that earned him his 27th save of the year.
"Not easy, short," is how Rivera preferred to characterize the save (he has two one-pitch saves among his all-time-record 635). "Anything can happen on one pitch, a home run. It's never easy, but we won, so that's good."
Mo was pressed into service when Preston Claiborne, who pitched a 1-2-3 eighth in relief of Phil Hughes, allowed two runs in the ninth and left a runner at second. He was relieved by Adam Warren, who walked the only batter he faced, and suddenly what had been a rout became an unexpected save situation.
But after the game was over, Rivera preferred to talk about his gift, which among the truckload of other things he has received from around the league on his farewell tour -- a surfboard, a gold record, a photo collage, a bottle of Tiger Stadium dirt -- seemed to delight him the most.
"I'm going to put it in the trophy room with the rest of the stuff," he said. "We'll take care of it and appreciate it."
According to the Twins, the chair was the idea of manager Ron Gardenhire, and its unique design -- spindles made of broken bat parts -- is what appealed to Rivera.
"Oh yeah, because they thought about it," he said. "They put their mind into it. When you see that, you appreciate it. It's great."