NEW YORK -- The reality of life without Mariano Rivera set in for the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.
Matt Joyce hit a three-run homer off fill-in closer David Robertson in the ninth inning, falling down on a twisted ankle as he finished his swing, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to beat the Yankees, 4-1.
In his first chance since taking over for the injured Rivera, Robertson escaped a bases-loaded jam to save Tuesday's 5-3 victory over the Rays. But one night later, New York got a chilling dose of what other teams deal with as they search for that reliable closer.
"It's the worst feeling in the world," Robertson said. "You watch when Mo does it, he comes back the next day and he's the same guy. He goes right back out there, takes the mound and does his thing. I'm going to have to do that tomorrow."
With the Yankees clinging to a 1-0 lead, Sean Rodriguez singled through the left side on Robertson's first pitch and went to third when pinch-hitter Brandon Allen singled to right on the next delivery.
Ben Zobrist walked and Carlos Pena, called out on strikes with the bases full to end Tuesday night's game, went down looking again. B.J. Upton, however, lifted a sacrifice fly to right and Rodriguez scored with a nifty slide to tie it.
That was the first run charged to Robertson (0-1) in 27 outings since Aug. 29 last year in Baltimore.
Joyce, who struck out earlier with the bases loaded, drove a 1-2 pitch into the first row of seats beyond the short porch in right, giving Tampa Bay a 4-1 lead and snapping the club's 0-for-20 drought with runners in scoring position.
It was a painful swing, too. Joyce rolled his left ankle and fell down across the plate, then got up and trotted gingerly around the bases.
"I kind of told myself I had to," he said. "You can't really have somebody else pinch run for you there. There's really no other option."
When he returned to the dugout, Joyce took plenty of ribbing from his teammates. He taped up his ankle and stayed in on defense but said he's not sure yet if it's sprained.
Earlier in the day, Rivera announced he's receiving treatment for a blood clot in his right calf. The 42-year-old reliever, expected to miss the rest of the season, said he's still determined to return next year.
He also said he was sweating and screaming at the television while watching Robertson labor to close out Tuesday night's victory. This one must have been even tougher to take.