Mariano Rivera makes an out with a little help from his friends

David Brown
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Mariano Rivera(notes) batting. Now that's something you don't see every day.

Encouraged by his teammates, and ignoring a take sign, the Yankees closer gave us an interleague gem by making a 1000-percent improvement in his second career at-bat Wednesday night.

Oh, he made an out, flying to Nate McLouth(notes) in center, stranding two runners in the Yankees' 8-4 victory at Atlanta.

But what great form the 40-year-old relief pitcher showed.

Rivera is batting .000 in two career plate appearances, the previous coming in 2006 when the Phillies' Ryan Franklin(notes) struck him out. This time? Contact!

From MLB.com:

Approaching the plate, Braves catcher Brian McCann(notes) asked Rivera if this was his first at-bat.

"I said, 'No, it's my second one,'" Rivera said, grinning. "He threw a fastball and my pitching coach and manager told me not to swing. I heard that from Mr. T. [Joe Torre] also before. Of course, I did not do that, which is not acceptable. But thank God, we won."

They'll fine him in kangaroo court, but Rivera nearly had one over on the rest of the team.

"Wow," Alex Rodriguez(notes) said. "If that ball lands, we would have all been in trouble for a long time, because he would not have let us hear the end of that. That was a pretty good swing."

Check out the (VIDEO) and, after the jump, the great support system the Yankees gave him.

Rivera came into the game in the bottom of the eighth — another thing that doesn't happen very much — with the Braves threatening to score. He wriggled from that jam; actually, he struck out all four batters he faced for his 16th save and 498th for his career.

But it was his at-bat that brought the likes of Derek Jeter(notes), A-Rod and CC Sabathia(notes) on the top step of the dugout.

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Melky Cabrera(notes) loaned Rivera some batting gloves and gave him some tips.

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OK, he's not 12, Melkman.

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Told not to swing by coaches, Rivera couldn't help himself.

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Sabathia, showing a genuine fun-loving side, thought for a moment that Rivera was going to drive in a couple of runs with a single against Manny Acosta(notes).

"It's not what you really want to see, but he had quite a swing," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "When he hit it, I thought we were going to get a few more runs on the board."

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Rivera, who also is 0-for-3 batting during the postseason, started smiling as soon as he hit the ball.

Acosta, who like Rivera is from Panama, probably was relieved his countryman didn't wait him out.

"All I was thinking was throwing a fastball there," Acosta said. "I didn't want to walk him."