Cano didn’t have one of his better games, going 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Share story

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Less than 24 hours after taking a baseball off the top part of his forehead, Robinson Cano was back in the Mariners’ starting lineup for Sunday’s game.

It was a scary moment for the all-star second baseman and the Mariners.

In between innings, Angels’ shortstop Taylor Featherston uncorked a wild warm-up throw that went sailing over the head of Albert Pujols and striking Cano, who was sitting in the front far corner of the dugout chatting with Franklin Gutierrez. It left Cano woozy and with a nasty welt. But both problems subsided postgame. Cano passed concussion tests on Saturday and felt ready to go on Sunday.

“I feel good,” Cano said before the game. “No headaches and I slept better than I have in a while. It just hurts right where the ball hit me. I was lucky.”

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks

Cano had no plans of taking the day off.

“Of course I’m going to play if I feel good,” he said. “I always want to play.”

Cano didn’t have one of his better games, going 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

But it was a play on the base paths that left Mariners’ fans grumbling and wondering what could have or should have been.

After being held hitless for the first three innings, the Mariners finally broke through against Angels’ starter Hector Santiago in the fourth inning. Franklin Gutierrez notched the Mariners’ first hit of the game with a single to left. Cano followed with a walk and Nelson Cruz gave Seattle a 1-0 lead with a scalding double off the wall in right-center. It might have been 2-0. With Cano on third, Kyle Seager hit a hard line drive to mid-to-shallow right field.

Cano had gotten a sizable lead before the pitch and an even bigger secondary lead on the pitch. He froze when Seager made contact. The two-to-three second hesitation after that proved costly. By the time he could retreat to third base to tag up to go, right fielder Kole Calhoun had made a nice play charging the ball. Calhoun quickly fired a throw all the way to home on the fly.

Was it yet another baserunning error for Cano?

“He was getting off the bag on contact and probably went a little bit too far and couldn’t get back in time to tag up,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “It’s a tough read. You can all say it’s a mistake, but it’s a tough read.”

Cano admitted his fault.

“I was too aggressive and I didn’t get back and have a chance to tag,” Cano said of his secondary lead. “You want to be ready for the wild pitch and ground ball. He hit it really hard and I didn’t get a good read.”

And if he would have tagged up quicker?

“I don’t know if he would have sent me if it was hit so hard,” Cano said of third-base coach Rich Donnelly. “You saw that throw.”

But Donnelly has proven to be aggressive in the past.

“Given the way we’ve been swinging the bats. I would have liked to think Rich would have sent him,” McClendon said.

Whether Cano would have made it is yet another futile debate. Misread, mistake, however you choose to label it, it proved costly because the Mariners didn’t get another run in the inning or off Santiago.

Rotation Change

The Mariners will make a minor change to the rotation in San Diego with the Monday off day. Roenis Elias will have his start on Wednesday pushed back to Thursday in Oakland. Taijuan Walker will slide up a spot and face the Padres on Wednesday.