Mariano Rivera did the near impossible yesterday. He made Alex Rodriguez a footnote to the Yankees victory. How did Rivera manage that?

“He showed he’s human” said teammate Lyle Overbay.

Rivera blew his third consecutive save something he never had done in his Hall of Fame-bound career by surrendering ninth-inning solo home runs to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

“It’s not surprising. You’re talking about professional hitters but at the same time I didn’t put the ball where I wanted to” said Rivera who — if it does happen — usually gets beat on bloops and bleeders not bombs the opposite way like Cabrera delivered or shots to the second deck where Martinez’s salvo landed.

For Rivera satisfaction came when Brett Gardner delivered his second game-ending hit in three games homering off Jose Veras in the home portion of the ninth for a 5-4 Yankees victory. So the day ended in a win. That’s what mattered.

“It’s not a relief for me. We won the game — that’s the most important thing” said Rivera credited with the win.

A win the hard way — and the Yankees were happy for him.

“He’s been picking us up all year the least we can do is pick him up” Overbay said.

When Rivera blew a save Wednesday in Chicago the Yankees lost. On Friday in one of the more epic individual confrontations in memory Cabrera overcame an ailing hip and two painful foul balls off his leg to smash a two-out two-run bomb. But the Yankees eventually won that game on a Gardner hit — like yesterday.

But three straight blown saves?

“I don’t think any of us [are] shocked. This is a tough game. They’ve got a good lineup over there” said setup man David Robertson. “I don’t doubt [Rivera’s] abilities. It’s just a rare occurrence.”