Granted another opportunity to produce in the clutch in the ninth inning, Cano came through again.
Cano drilled a bases-clearing double to straightaway center field in the ninth to cap Seattle's second rally against Houston's bullpen in a 6-3 victory on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.
Cano finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs and landed the knockout blow against Astros closer Luke Gregerson (0-1), who staggered in allowing two singles and a walk before facing Cano. When Gregerson grooved a cut fastball down the heart of the plate, Cano knew just how to handle it.
"I was ready," Cano said. "That's a situation where I would say if I was a pitcher, I don't want to face Nelson (Cruz) or myself. In that situation as a hitter, you've got to get ready to see a pitch over the plate because he's (got) one nasty cutter, slider and sinker. Everything moves. So I was ready for the first pitch, something over the plate, and (to) be able to hit the ball out of the infield."
Two innings before Cano closed the book on the comeback, right fielder Seth Smith keyed the initial rally against the Houston (10-19) bullpen.
Smith laced a two-run single off Astros left-hander Tony Sipp to lift the Mariners to a 3-2 lead. Houston rookie starter Chris Devenski departed with a 2-1 advantage, but Ken Giles allowed the two baserunners that scored in the seventh before Gregerson faltered later.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve again was a one-man wrecking crew, finishing 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. He erased the 3-2 deficit with an RBI double in the seventh, but the Astros squandered an opportunity to reclaim the lead when third base coach Gary Pettis waved home slow-footed Jason Castro on the Altuve drive to center.
Castro was on first when Altuve delivered his hit off Nick Vincent (2-1) and was easily erased at the plate for the second out of the inning.
"Gary's right virtually all the time, so I certainly can't fault him for a play that they had to make a 430-foot relay to (retire) him," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Castro ran hard. I'll have to look at the video to see exactly how it broke down as to where he was when they got the ball."
Devenski labored, retiring the Mariners in order only in the fourth inning once while dodging significant threats in the second, fifth and sixth.
In the third after he allowed the RBI single to Cano, Devenski needed a fabulous defensive play from right fielder George Springer to limit the damage. Springer made a sprawling grab of Nelson Cruz's line drive to preserve the tie as Devenski stranded two base runners to conclude that threat.
"Starting to feel better," Devenski said. "Feel like myself. Got a little hectic but things are working well."
Altuve belted his sixth leadoff home run this season just two off the club record -- to give the Astros a 1-0 lead. He scored the second run when Evan Gattis slapped a two-out RBI single off Wade Miley in the sixth, a rally-salvaging hit after Altuve and Springer reached with no outs before Carlos Correa rolled into a double play.
Miley was solid, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts over six innings. He gave the Mariners precisely what they required, his problems with the scorching Altuve notwithstanding.
"He's really good - he's really hot right now," Miley said. "He's good regardless but he's seeing the ball well. Other than that I felt pretty good."
NOTES: Astros LF Jake Marisnick was recalled from Triple-A Fresno and batted ninth in the order. With Colby Rasmus slumping and the Astros in need of another right-handed bat to balance their roster, Marisnick ended his short stint with the Grizzlies having compiled only 28 plate appearances. ... Mariners RHP Tony Zych underwent an examination of his right shoulder and the results revealed inflammation but no structural damage. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 3 with right rotator cuff tendinitis and will be sidelined for at least four weeks. ... Astros 2B Jose Altuve was leading the major leagues in steals (10) and doubles (13). The last player to lead the majors in both categories for a full season was Cardinals OF Lou Brock (62 steals, 46 doubles) in 1968.