One-time hero-now-scorned Robinson Cano had the first laugh in his new life as a Mariner Tuesday, driving in one run, scoring another, getting a hit and stealing a base while his Seattle buddies had a 15-hit attack for a 6-3 triumph at damp, blustery, sparsely occupied Yankee Stadium.
Cano, the subject during his first return to New York of numerous media stories, a hilarious skit on “The Tonight Show” and a pre-game press conference with more than 60 media members in attendance, didn’t look great in his first two at-bats (strikeout and groundout) as boos and heckles filled his ears.
But he ignited a four-run fifth when his bases-loaded ground out to first base brought in the Mariners’ first run.
Trailing 2-1 with one out, Seattle’s Corey Hart jumped on a fastball from veteran ace C.C. Sabathia for a double into the right-center gap, scoring Willie Bloomquist and Abraham Almonte, each of whom singled. Hart came home with the inning’s fourth run on a single by Justin Smoak.
In the seventh after Sabathia had been chased, Cano was aboard on an infield single and stole second. After Hart and Smoak struck out, pinch-hitter Dustin Ackley singled off reliever Dellin Betances. After he was replaced by Preston Claiborne, Kyle Seager singled Ackley to third, from where he scored on a single from Mike Zunino, part of a 4-for-5 night.
“I thought our at-bats were good all night,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We ran the counts deep and got (Sabathia’s) pitch count up. We thought we’d have a chance.”
Chris Young provided another creditable start, getting his first win as a Mariner, going 5.2 innings and allowing two runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out three. His only big mistake was a second-inning solo homer to Mark Teixeira into the short porch in right. Relievers Charlie Furbush, Danny Farquhar and Fernando Rodney closed out, with Rodney giving up a final run in the ninth.
Besides Zunino’s four hits, Bloomquist, Ackley and Smoak each had two hits. The Mariners (11-14) have won four of their past five. The AL East-leading Yankees fell to 15-11.
The game began at 46 degrees with wind gusts up to 30 mph. Rain began mid-game. The Wednesday forecast includes rain. If the series second game is postponed, there was post-game talk of a possible doubleheader Thursday. The original game is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. PT . . . . Zunino, whom McClendon said was not 100 percent because of illness, became the 11th Mariners catcher with four or more hits in a game . . . In his pre-game presser, Cano avoided much dialogue on his departure from the Yankees, which he said in his first press conference in Seattle was caused by a “lack of respect” from the Yankees. “One thing to understand, this is a business,” Cano said. “I can’t control the Yankees. I can control myself. They made that decision, and we’re both happy. I’m happy where I am now. I’m happy to be a Mariner. And good luck to them.” . . . Injured starter Hisashi Iwakuma rejoined the team in New York. He is a possibility to pitch Friday in Houston . . . Ackley And Brad Miller were held out of the starting lineup again. McClendon said it was because of a bad matchup with lefty Sabathia.