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Robinson Cano hits two more homers in Seattle Mariners' 9-5 win

By
John Henry, The Sports Xchange
Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano. Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI
Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano. Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI | License Photo

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The American League has been served notice: Be aware of changeups that stay up to Robinson Cano.

The Seattle Mariners second baseman wrapped up a whopping season-opening series by belting two home runs -- on changeups that stayed up -- and driving in five RBIs, including a two-run blast in the Mariners' decisive five-run ninth inning of a 9-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.

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Cano has four home runs in the season's first three days.

Third baseman Kyle Seager also had a two-run single in the ninth against Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson, who failed to get an out against five hitters.

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The Mariners overcame a one-run deficit by sending nine hitters to the plate in the ninth and scoring five runs on six hits.

"Obviously, our second baseman is really hot right now," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "He's in a good spot. I think I've said that a few times this spring.

"Yeah, Robby looks great. He's seeing the ball really, really good."

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Seattle right-hander Joaquin Benoit picked up the victory (1-0) after pitching a scoreless eighth. Right-hander Steve Cishek worked a perfect ninth in a non-save situation for the Mariners (2-1).

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Tolleson (0-1) took the loss, giving up five runs and five hits after entering looking to protect a one-run lead in the ninth.

A day after giving up eight runs, the Texas bullpen had another difficult day. In the seventh, right-hander Keone Kela loaded the bases, but right-handers Jake Diekman and Sam Dyson limited the damage to one run, which came on a walk to Cano with the bases loaded.

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Seattle, however, scorched Tolleson.

The first five hitters all reached, beginning with singles from pinch-hitter Norichika Aoki and shortstop Ketel Marte followed by a double by Martin.

Seager's single drove in two runs, followed by Cano's second two-run homer of the game.

"I've been taking advantage of pitches right in the middle of the plate," Cano said. "That was a changeup that stayed up."

In the past two games, Texas' bullpen has surrendered 14 runs, 17 hits and three walks in eight innings. The unit has yielded three home runs.

As a staff, Texas pitchers gave up six walks on Wednesday.

"I'd hope that we wouldn't panic in two games," Texas manager Jeff Bannister said. "Really overall, you look at this game, the six walks today, really. You give hitters multiple at-bats, long looks, they become better hitters."

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Texas designated hitter Prince Fielder had a three-run homer in the sixth against Seattle left-hander Wade Miley, who responded by striking out the side and limiting further damage. First baseman Ryan Rua and left fielder Justin Ruggiano also had run-scoring hits for the Rangers (1-2).

Neither starter factored into the decision.

Miley, who was on the hook for the loss until the ninth, gave up five runs and six hits in seven innings while striking out seven.

The Mariners staked Miley to a three-run lead with Cano's two-run homer in the first and a solo shot from center fielder Leonys Martin, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs hitting leadoff against his former team.

While Texas' bullpen faltered, the Mariners' relievers shut down the Rangers after Fielder's home run. Right-handers Nick Vincent and Benoit stifled Texas hitters in the seventh and eighth.

"The key to the game was the bullpen, keeping us right there," Servais said. "And Miley, after the home run, coming back and striking out the side. Pitching ... crazy game, you just try to hang in there."

Texas right-hander Colby Lewis gave up three runs, three hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out four and surrendered two home runs.

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"That's an exciting inning, but in spring training we showed we were the kind of team that could come back from five or six runs," Cano said. "We know we can compete with anyone. We're showing the team we are."

NOTES: Texas OF Ian Desmond, the shortstop turned left fielder, made his first career start in center. ... With OF Delino DeShields out of the Rangers' lineup, OF Shin-Soo Choo led off. The Nos. 6-9 hitters -- 1B Ryan Rua, LF Justin Ruggiano, C Bryan Holaday and SS Hanser Alberto -- all made their season debuts for Texas. ... Seattle 3B Kyle Seager, who has hit .348 in his career at Globe Life Park, entered the game with hits in each of his last eight games in Arlington. ... The Mariners outrighted the contract of C Rob Brantly to Triple-A Tacoma. Brantly was designated for assignment by Seattle on Sunday.

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