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Friday, May 2, 2014
Cano now 2-0 as ex-Yankee in the Bronx

By Kieran Darcy



NEW YORK -- Robinson Cano's first trip back to Yankee Stadium ended the way it started.

He was booed, but his team won.

Cano was treated more like an enemy than an old friend by the fans here in the Bronx this week. But he got the last laugh, twice, after his Seattle Mariners won both games of a rain-shortened series.

The Mariners took the series finale Thursday 4-2, with Cano driving in two of Seattle’s four runs.

Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter
Robinson Cano caught up with some old pals over two games this week in the Bronx.
“Both days felt good,” Cano said. “We ended up winning, that’s all that matters.”

Cano did get some love earlier in the day here at the Stadium, when he emerged from the Seattle dugout for batting practice shortly after 5 p.m. Most of the Yankees’ regulars had already finished BP and headed back to the clubhouse. But a beaming Ichiro Suzuki raced over to give Cano a big hug, and bench coach Tony Pena shared a long embrace with Cano as well.

Once the game was underway, it didn’t take Cano very long to make an impact. With a runner on first base and one out in the top of the first inning, he slapped a 90-mph fastball from Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda into the right-field corner, driving home the first run of the night.

Cano knocked in the Mariners’ second run as well, on a groundout in the third inning. He also grounded out in the fifth and seventh innings, finishing 1-for-4.

He was booed each and every time he walked to the plate, as he was in the series opener on Tuesday, a 6-3 Mariners win. But when asked afterward what his favorite part of his homecoming was, Cano gave a somewhat surprising answer, given the treatment he received.

“I would say, if it was anything, to be able to see the fans,” Cano said. “If they boo me or not, just happy to be playing in front of them and see ex-teammates, the manager I played for ... it’s all about seeing them again.”

Cano could have played better here this week -- he went 1-for-5 on Tuesday, with an RBI. He’s off to a relatively modest start with Seattle, batting. 294 with just one home run and 14 RBIs through 26 games.

But Cano did extend his season-high hitting streak to nine games on Thursday. And his new manager was impressed by the way he handled the hoopla.

“Just like I thought he was [going to],” Lloyd McClendon said. “He’s a professional. He’s been in the spotlight, he’s dealt with the media, big media. He just went about his business, and played very professionally, and handled everything in a very professional manner. I thought he was very gracious.”

Thanks to Wednesday’s rainout, Cano will get to make a second trip back to the Bronx this season, for a makeup game on June 2. He’ll probably be booed once again, but Cano said that the booing this week did not disappoint him.

“Honestly, no,” Cano said. “You have to understand the fans. They’re the fans. Like I said the other day, that’s something that I can’t control. I can control myself, but not the fans. Like I said, I did have fun.”