If Robinson Cano ends up with typical Robinson Cano-like numbers at the end of this season, you might point back to Thursday night's game as one of the most important.
Cano went 3-for-4 against one of the best left-handed pitchers in the baseball, David Price, in a 5-3 Yankees victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The biggest hit of the game was Cano's two-run homer into the right-field bleachers in the fifth, part of a three-run inning that broke open a 2-2 tie. Cano also had singles in the first and third innings, in only his second three-hit game of the season.
"It just really changes our lineup, because he’s so productive, and he’s dangerous any time he walks to the plate," said manager Joe Girardi of Cano. "We swung the bats extremely well against a very good pitcher tonight, and Robby was a big part of that."
Cano wasn't very dangerous in April, when he batted just .267, with one home run and four RBIs. But he's been heating up in May, and now has hit safely in eight consecutive games.
The batting average is up to .286, with three homers and 11 RBIs, and we're only a third of the way through the month.
Cano was also just 7-for-34 (.206) in his career against Price, who entered the game red-hot, 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA.
"I’ve really been feeling good all season," said Cano. "Earlier in the season, it’s all about luck, just hitting the ball right at people. Tonight was a good night."
The second baseman wasn't the only one who had a good night on Thursday. Alex Rodriguez had a pair of hits, and Curtis Granderson launched his 11th home run of the season -- a solo shot into the second deck in right in the second inning.
"I think it’s just a matter of time before we as a team get things rolling, and hopefully get on a hot streak, which we haven’t yet," said Granderson. "We haven’t been playing as well as we’d like, but we’re still right where want to be."