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Cano hit in head by errant ball in dugout

Mariners second baseman exits with dizziness but doesn't expect to miss further time

ANAHEIM -- Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was hit in the forehead by an errant throw during the Angels' infield warmups prior to the seventh inning of Seattle's 4-2 loss on Saturday at Angel Stadium and was removed from the game, but he said afterward he expects to be able to play in Sunday's series finale.

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Cano was sitting in the Mariners' dugout when a throw from shortstop Taylor Featherston sailed over the head of Angels first baseman Albert Pujols and struck the six-time American League All-Star above the left temple, raising a sizable welt.

Cano experienced dizziness and was attended to by Mariners trainer Rob Nodine and then helped to the clubhouse by Nodine and manager Lloyd McClendon. Cano went through MLB's concussion protocol and was cleared. 

"The Angels doctors and our staff checked him out and he should be ready to go tomorrow," McClendon said. "From what we've been told, he should be fine tomorrow."

With the help of ice, the swelling on Cano's temple had disappeared by the time he met with reporters. He said he was sitting alongside teammate Franklin Gutierrez in the dugout and had no idea a ball was headed his way.

"I didn't hear anything," Cano said. "Those are the things that hurt the most, when you aren't expecting anything. I checked the replay and it hit me and bounced all the way back to first base. It hurt at first, but I'm good. I was talking to Guti, looking to the side, and the next thing I knew I got hit in the head. I didn't lose my consciousness. It just hurt right on that spot, but otherwise everything is good.

"So far, I can play tomorrow. Hopefully it'll stay the same. I feel good right now. I can walk and I can remember everything. They did a test and it was good."

Cano said Pujols called him after the game to check on him, and the Mariners veteran sounded only slightly irked at being beaned while sitting innocently in the dugout.

"He's a young guy," Cano said of Featherston, "but I don't think there's a reason you have to throw that hard between innings. But it's all right. Things happen for a reason. Thank God I'm good and right now I feel good to play. Hopefully everything goes well through the night."

"I think the ball just got away from Taylor," said Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella. "Obviously it wasn't malicious, by any means. Taylor's a good guy. It was just one of those freak accidents that you hope doesn't happen again. I wish all the best for Robinson Cano. I have a lot of respect for him. ... It was scary. You don't wish it on anyone. Unfortunately, it happened today."

It won't happen again if the Mariners have anything to do with it. Cano said he won't sit in that spot in the dugout again.

And if he does?

"We'll get him an extra catcher's mask or something while he's down there relaxing," Mariners catcher Mike Zunino said.

But the Mariners knew this was no laughing matter when it happened.

"That was crazy. Just a freak accident," Zunino said. "It's a huge relief that he's OK. Obviously that's a guy in the middle of our order and a leader. We don't want him to miss any time. To see he's OK is really good and hopefully we can see him back on the field as soon as possible."

Willie Bloomquist replaced Cano at second base in the bottom of the seventh. Cano had gone 0-for-3 in the game and is hitting .244 with four homers and 24 RBIs on the season, but had heated up recently and had hit .333 (10-for-30) with five extra-base hits over his previous eight games.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast.
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