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Cano on wacky 7th; Nunez on playing 3rd

Robinson Cano had no business crossing home plate in the bottom of the seventh inning -- and he knew it.

Cano reached on a single off of James Shields. He was way off the bag when B.J. Upton raced in to catch Jorge Posada's fly to shallow center.

Upton tried to double off Cano at first but the ball sailed into the dugout, which allowed Cano to advance to third.

Shields almost caught Cano napping again when he tried to pick the second baseman off. But his throw to the bag sailed past Rays third baseman Sean Rodriguez and Cano trotted home for the Yankees’ first and only run of the game.

"I would be sad for CC (Sabathia) if I got thrown out at third," Cano said.

NUNEZ IS READY FOR HOT CORNER: Eduardo Nunez came up lame in the bottom of the third after banding his right leg against first base while sliding into the bag. Nunez said he felt no pain after the game. Which is great news for the Yankees, because they’re certainly going to need him.

Nunez will likely start the majority of games at third base for the Yankees in place of Alex Rodriguez, who elected to have surgery to repair a torn right meniscus.

Nunez said he feels comfortable third base, but admitted he is most at ease while playing shortstop, which he did while Derek Jeter was on the disabled list with a calf injury.

For the record, Nunez has made nine errors in 91 chances at short this season and one in 19 chances at third.

Nunez is hitting .278 with three home runs and 14 RBIs this season. He went 7-for-8 with a homer in the first two games of the most recent edition of the Subway Series in place of Jeter.

Nunez certainly wants to continue to prove himself at this level, but he said on Sunday that he feels bad that his at-bats are coming at the expense of injured teammates.

“I don’t want my time to go like that because we need A Rod,” Nunez said.