Jonathan Papelbon had an assortment of excuses he could have picked from.

He hadn't pitched in five days. He was pitching in a non-save situation. He was facing a guy he had never seen before.

After allowing a mammoth game-winning, three-run, ninth-inning pinch-hit home run to unheralded 24-year-old rookie Jordany Valdespin, who was playing for the Buffalo Bisons three days ago, Papelbon opted not to use any.