If the Seattle Mariners are to climb back into the American League playoff race, they will need more of the instant offense 2B Robinson Cano provided Saturday afternoon against his former team. In his most productive game of the season, Cano lined a pair of two-run homers, accounting for all Seattle’s runs, in a 4-3 win (box score) over New York at Yankee Stadium.
In the top of the sixth with the score tied at 2, Cano crushed a Michael Pineda (9-6) fastball deep into the stadium’s right-field bleachers. The two-run homer gave the Mariners (42-49) a 4-2 lead that stood.
Cano created a 2-0 advantage in the first with a two-run homer on a center-cut fastball from Pineda, whom the Mariners dealt to New York in 2012 as part of the trade that brought former top prospect Jesus Montero to Seattle.
Cano, a Yankee for nine seasons, went 3-for-4 Saturday with 4 RBIs, lifting his season average to .254. It marked his first multi-home run game since he joined the Mariners.
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma held down a powerful Yankees lineup by allowing two runs and five hits in 5.2 innings. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter. C Brian McCann hit a two-run homer in the fourth to tie the game at 2, but Iwakuma was otherwise solid in picking up his second win.
The bullpen combo of LHP Joe Beimel, RHP Mark Lowe, LHP Vidal Nuno, RHP Fernando Rodney bridged it with 2.1 scoreless framse to set up new closer Carson Smith for the ninth.
After Mark Teixeira began with a double, Smith struck out McCann. Then he struck out Chase Headley, but the wayward slider that generated a swing-and-miss got by C Mike Zunino and Headley reached first. Garrett Jones followed with an RBI groundout to cut it 4-3. Smith (S, 7) got Didi Gregorius to ground out to Cano.
“We need to start playing the way we’re supposed to. We lost last night — close game. We came out today and battled the whole game. That’s how we need to play the whole year.” — Cano.
LHP Charlie Furbush (left biceps tendinitis) had his bullpen session moved back a few days after he complained of soreness. Furbush is eligible to come off the disabled list July 23, but it could take longer. He was scheduled to go on the road trip and throw a sim game during the Detroit series but instead stayed back in Seattle . . . CF Austin Jackson was caught stealing the eighth time this season in 16 attempts . . . LHP J.A. Happ will be recalled from High A Bakersfield to start Monday’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers.
The Mariners aim for a series win in Sunday’s game when RHP Felix Hernandez (11-5, 2.84 ERA) takes on LHP C.C. Sabathia (4-8, 5.47 ERA). First pitch is set for 10:05 PT.