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Cano avoids DL, ready to start in Bronx

Mariners second baseman and former Yankee could be in lineup Saturday
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

NEW YORK -- A sore left hamstring limited Robinson Cano to late-inning pinch-hit duties in his latest return to Yankee Stadium in Seattle's 2-1, 11-inning win on Friday, but the eight-time All-Star didn't need to go on the disabled list and is hoping to be in the lineup Saturday after an MRI exam showed only a slight strain.

Cano came out of Wednesday's contest in Atlanta in the third inning, when his left leg tightened up on him as he was coming out of the box on his second double of the game. He struck out in a ninth-inning pinch-hitting opportunity with the bases loaded against Dellin Betances on Friday and played the final two innings in the field.

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NEW YORK -- A sore left hamstring limited Robinson Cano to late-inning pinch-hit duties in his latest return to Yankee Stadium in Seattle's 2-1, 11-inning win on Friday, but the eight-time All-Star didn't need to go on the disabled list and is hoping to be in the lineup Saturday after an MRI exam showed only a slight strain.

Cano came out of Wednesday's contest in Atlanta in the third inning, when his left leg tightened up on him as he was coming out of the box on his second double of the game. He struck out in a ninth-inning pinch-hitting opportunity with the bases loaded against Dellin Betances on Friday and played the final two innings in the field.

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"That's a tough at-bat," manager Scott Servais said. "You're sitting there all night and Betances is one of the best in the game with that breaking ball. You run your best guy up there and hope for the best. Betances executed, but Robbie was fine. Hopefully he'll be good to go and we can get him in the lineup tomorrow."

Video: SEA@NYY: Betances retires Cano with a clutch K

Utility man Taylor Motter started for Cano in the series opener, but Servais is hopeful he'll be able to pencil the 34-year-old ex-Yankee at second base for the final two games of the series.

Not having to put Cano on the 10-day DL was welcome news for a Mariners team fighting for an American League Wild Card spot.

"It's very big," Servais said. "We have to see him get out there and move around and see where we're at there. But when he initially came out of that game, it was not a good feeling. He really didn't talk much. He just put his head down and walked off the field. But hopefully it isn't anything that is going to slow him down a ton.

"We need the bat in the lineup. He's a big part of what we do offensively. Hopefully we give him another day today and he'll be good to go after that. I'm not expecting him to be running 100 percent. He's not a fast guy by nature anyway, but just that bat in the lineup is huge."

Cano has posted a .277/.337/.460 line with 19 home runs and 78 RBIs in 116 games this year, his fourth with the Mariners since signing a 10-year, $240 million deal.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano