MIAMI -- The All-Star break could not have come at a better time for Mariners stars Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano.The break gives them a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. It's an opportunity for the teammates to celebrate their accomplishments in the first half
MIAMI -- The All-Star break could not have come at a better time for Mariners stars Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano.
The break gives them a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. It's an opportunity for the teammates to celebrate their accomplishments in the first half and have some fun before the second half begins.
It's also a chance to get some rest.
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Both Cruz and Cano have been playing through nagging injuries. Cruz has been struggling to run the bases since injuring his right knee sliding into second base awkwardly in Anaheim on July 1. He sat out the following two games, but played the last six games and went 8-for-22 with three home runs.
"This never gets old. I love being here and I'm healthy enough to play, but I'm still in pain," Cruz said. "I just try to hit the ball hard and hope for the best, maybe a double or a homer."
Cano, who is making his eighth All-Star appearance, tied for the most with St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina among this year's participants, is also dealing with a sore right quadricep that has limited his mobility.
"For me, every All-Star Game is special. Every game has a different feeling," Cano said. "I'm OK health-wise. I can play through it."
The injuries haven't kept the duo from solidifying the middle of the Mariners' lineup and they won't keep the veterans out of Tuesday's game. Cruz is tied for the Major League lead with 70 RBIs and Cano has 60. Both have hit 17 home runs.
On Friday, Cruz, who is making his fifth All-Star appearance, became just the 10th active player with 300 career home runs. He hit No. 301 Sunday. Overall, Cruz has hit 144 homers in the past 3 1/2 seasons, the most in the Majors since 2014. Of those homers, 104 have come since he signed with Seattle in 2015.
"Experience and age have made a big difference [in Seattle]," Cruz said. "I have an idea and I find a way to get the job done in any situation. I've been able to take advantage of that."
As for Cano, he sits at 295 career home runs. Expect the veteran second baseman to have a front-row seat during Monday night's T-Mobile Home Run Derby. He won the event in 2011 in Arizona, with his father, Jose Cano, pitching to him.
"That's one of the great memories of my career," Cano said. "Those are the type of things that will stick in my heart and things I will always remember."
Today at 4:30 p.m. PT, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.