Teammates fuel Mariners in Cano’s return to NY


April 29, 2014, NEW YORK (ISN) – Veteran right-hander Chris Young picked up his first win in 20 months and catcher Mike Zunino cranked out a career-high four hits as the Mariners topped the Yankees, 6-3, on Tuesday in Robinson Cano’s return to the Bronx.


The Mariners scored four runs in the fifth off Yankees lefty CC Sabathia and made it stand as the 6-foot-10 Young earned his first victory since Sept. 2, 2012, while with the Mets.

Cano went 1-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base and a run scored while getting heavily booed by the crowd of 37,484 at Yankee Stadium every time he stepped to the plate in his first game in New York since signing a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners in December.

Cano said the crowd reaction didn’t come as any big shock.

“I’m not surprised,” Cano said. “You’re going to get some cheers and boos. You just have to go out and play the game.”

Zunino went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, raising his average from .235 to .274, even though he was coming off a two-day bout with the flu and had to play through some rugged conditions on a cold, rainy night.

“When you’re not feeling 100 percent, you don’t try to do too much, and sometimes that’s the key to this game,” said the 23-year-old catcher. “I came out and was feeling better today, and I told Skip I was ready to go. Luckily I was able to barrel some balls up and not barrel some balls up and still find some holes.”

Willie Bloomquist, starting at short for the third time in the past four games, was 2-for-4 with a run scored as the bottom two hitters in the order accounted for six of the Mariners’ 15 hits.

Seattle (11-14) has won four of five since snapping an eight-game losing streak last week, while the Yankees fell to 15-11.

Young, who didn’t pitch in the Majors last year due to right shoulder problems, allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits over 5 2/3 innings. He’s 1-0 with a 3.04 ERA in five outings — four starts — this year after signing with Seattle just prior to the start of the regular season.

The nine-year Major League veteran said he didn’t put that much stock into getting his first win in nearly two years, but he was pleased to be part of the Mariners’ victory.

“I’m happy the team won,” said Young. “It’s a team win. We got down early and the guys picked me up and got the runs back. They kept fighting and had quality at-bats, and it’s just a great team win. It’s good to come in here and get the first one on the beginning of a road trip. Hopefully we can build on it and keep going.”

Young said he pitched well enough to keep his team in position to win, but he sounded more impressed with Zunino’s effort.

“Mike did an unbelievable job, not only swinging it, but the game he called was phenomenal,” said Young. “I continue to be just blown away that he’s a rookie back there because he’s just doing a great job.

“I watched him on the flight out here, and he was sick as a dog. But he sent me text message at 2 o’clock this afternoon and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to be back there and ready to go for you, big man.’ He’s a tough kid. He’s mature beyond his years. He’s really impressive.”

Sabathia had gone 8-0 with a 1.36 ERA in his last nine starts against Seattle, but the Mariners got to him for nine hits and four runs in five-plus innings as he fell to 3-3 with a 5.11 ERA on the season.

Seattle scored all four runs against Sabathia in the fifth inning, helped by an overturned ruling after manager Lloyd McClendon successfully challenged an out call on Zunino’s leadoff grounder to second.

Zunino went to third on a Bloomquist single to right, and Seattle loaded the bases when Abraham Almonte dropped down a bunt that Sabathia fielded but held onto when second baseman Brian Roberts didn’t get over to cover first in time against the speedy Almonte.

Cano drove in Zunino with a groundout to first, then Corey Hart delivered a two-run double andJustin Smoak added a run-scoring single to make it 4-2.

Cano manufactured another run in the seventh when he led off with an infield single to short, stole second and scored on a two-out single to left by pinch-hitter Dustin Ackley. Zunino then drove in Ackley with a single to right to make it a 6-2 game.

The Yankees scored once in the bottom of the ninth off Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, the only run New York managed in 3 1/3 innings against Seattle’s bullpen.

Chalk this one up as a win on many levels for a young Mariners squad in a tough environment.

“We wanted to go out and play well [for Cano],” said Zunino. “Any time we can have his back coming into a place where obviously he was such a great player, I’m happy we could do that for him. Everyone knows it’s a tough situation for him to come back to.

“I mean, you’re leaving the New York Yankees, and it’s one of those things where you know with their fans it’s going to be a little tough. But he did a great job, and he always seems unfazed by everything.”

(Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)


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