Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano tied his career high in homers on Monday night, belting his 33rd of the season. It seems likely he'll set a new career high with 18 games left to play this season.

Share story

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Barring an unforeseen incident, injury or massive slump, Robinson Cano will set a new career high in home runs this season. On Monday night, he tied his career high of 33 homers in a season, jumping on a first pitch fastball from Ricky Nolasco and sending a towering moonshot over the wall in right field of Angels Stadium in Seattle’s 8-1 win.

With 18 games left to play going into Tuesday night’s matchup with the Angels, Cano should get at least one more homer in 2016 and possibly more. He tried to downplay the 33rd homer a little after Monday’s game.

“It means something,” he said. “It tied my career high. But it meant more that we won the game.”

The team concept isn’t just Cano being diplomatic. He’s been to the postseason and wants to prove to people that his decision to come to Seattle for a 10-year, $240 million contract wouldn’t keep him from returning to the playoffs despite the organizations well-known postseason drought.

 

“This is a time of the season where as a hitter where you want to step it up and help the team in any way,” he said.

But beyond the team platitudes, the personal accomplishment isn’t lost on Cano. The frustration of a subpar and injury-riddled 2015 season and the offseason comments from former coach Andy Van Slyke are subjects that he chooses to avoid, but can’t forget. They provided plenty of motivation this offseason as he recovered from double hernia surgery with revamped workouts and into the season with a refined but aggressive approach at the plate.

“It’s been a great year, really from the get go,” manager Scott Servais said. “From early in spring training to opening day to (now), he’s obviously been our most consistent guy throughout the season. He put in a ton of work in the offseason and it’s paying off.”

 

For Cano, who doesn’t consider himself a power hitter, the 33 homers are an accomplishment, but not necessarily a goal. But to do it at age 33, playing half of his games at Safeco Field and 18 games in Anaheim and Oakland — not hitter-friendly environments – is impressive.

Of the 33 homers this season, Cano has 14 at Safeco Field and 19 on the road – 12 in American League West parks. He’s hit four each in the more homer-conducive confines of Globe Life Park in Arlington and in Minute Maid Park in Houston, while hitting two each at Angels Stadium and the Oakland Coliseum.

It’s different from his 2012 season with the Yankees where 22 of his 33 homers came at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium with its short right field porch.

“It means more,” he said.

But it isn’t just power, Cano came into Tuesday hitting .301 with an .880 on-base plus slugging percentage with 30 doubles and 87 RBI to go with the 33 homers in 143 games. He’s had one day off – August 7 – this season.

“It’s not just the bat,” Servais said. “It’s the defense and it’s the ability to run out there every day and play. It’s so valuable just to write that name in the lineup every day and know what you are going to get. I know he wanted to have a bounce back year and he really has.”

Cano had an 0-for-10 stretch in the previous series in Oakland. He promised Servais to bring some hits to Anaheim. He had three in the series opener.

“When you go for 0-for-4, 0-for-5, you have to figure out what you are doing wrong instead of going home and resting,” Cano said.

He has been one of the Mariners’ most consistent performers this season.

“He had kind of an off series in Oakland,” Servais said. “His timing was kind of off. The great players can make usually adjustments pretty quickly. When I saw him looking at the video yesterday, I was like, ‘ok, we’ll be just fine.’ He’s sharp enough to figure out what he’s doing wrong, see where it’s at and quickly make an adjustment. It was great to see.”

 

 

 

Batter vs. starting pitcher matchups

Angels numbers vs. Taijuan Walker

American League West and Wild Card Standings

On this day in Mariners’ history

  • 1992 – Harold Reynolds breaks up an 8.1 inning Athletics no-hit bid, and Greg Briley doubled with two outs to end the shutout. The Mariners still lose 3-1 in Oakland.
  • 1995 – Trailing 4-0, the club scores seven runs in the last two at-bats for a 7-4 win vs. Minnesota. Jay Buhner’s three-run HR was the game winner.
  • 1996 – Mark Whiten hit the second longest ball ever hit at the Metrodome for a grand slam in a 13-7 win at Minnesota.
  • 1996 – Alex Rodriguez became the first player in Mariners history to collect 200 hits in a season. The 20 year-old Seattle shortstop, who gets an RBI single off Minnesota’s Travis Miller in the first inning to reach the milestone, will finish the season with 215 hits and a Major League leading .358 batting average.
  • 2009 – Ichiro records his 200th hit of the season, surpassing Willie Keeler to become the first player in MLB to record 200 hits or more in 9 consecutive seasons… only Ty Cobb (9) and Pete Rose (10) have recorded as many 200-hit seasons in a career.
  • 2011 – The Mariners lost 3-2 to the Yankees at Safeco Field. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera recorded his 600th career save, becoming only the 2nd player in MLB history with 600 saves in a career

Pitching probables

Game notes