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Rapid Reaction: Yankees 4, D-backs 2

4/16/2013

WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees (7-5) are two games above .500 for the first time this season and Robinson Cano is making an early-season case for MVP consideration.

HONORING JACKIE: With all the players wearing No. 42 to honor Jackie Robinson, the man named after him, Cano, hit a long three-run homer to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Cano now has four home runs in 12 games. In 2012, it took him until game No. 39 before he had four. He finished with a career-high 33.

In 2010, Cano knocked four homers in the first dozen games. In the AL MVP voting that year, he finished a career-best third.

Mariano Rivera, the last man who will regularly wear No. 42, closed out the 4-2 win.

IVAN THE OK:Ivan Nova was neither great, nor terrible. He pitched like a fifth starter. He went just five innings, but only allowed two runs. The fact that he got through five is a plus. The fact that he had to escape trouble in nearly every inning is a concern.

PEN PALS: Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain pitched nicely, retiring all six batters they faced in the seventh and eighth innings to hand the ball to David Robertson and Rivera to finish off the game. They both did their jobs. It was Rivera's third save of the season.

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: DH Travis Hafner continues to hit. He picked up two doubles and raised his average to .324 on the young season.

E-NUNEZ WATCH: Eduardo Nunez (wrist) returned to the lineup. He is still error-less on the season. He also added a sacrifice fly in the seventh to put the Yankees up by two runs.

NO JUICE: The Yankees left the bases loaded in both the first and the second. With two outs in the first, Ichiro grounded out to first. Ichiro entered with a .176 average. Since he rarely walks, he really needs to be above .300, maybe well above .300, to make an impact on offense. He ended the night with a single in three at-bats to boost his average to .189.

In the second, the Diamondbacks decided to intentionally walk Cano to load the bases with two outs. Kevin Youkilis hit a slow hopper to ex-Yankee Eric Chavez at third. Chavez's throw barely beat Youkilis, who took off his helmet in amazement and disappointment over the call.

SWEET CAROLINE: The Yankees paid tribute to victims of the Boston explosions by playing "Sweet Caroline" after the third inning.

PAID ATTENDANCE: The Yankees announced it at 34,107.

ON DECK: On Wednesday evening, it is Wade Miley (2-0, 2.13) vs. CC Sabathia (2-1, 2.15 ERA).

QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: Does Cano look better than ever?