SEATTLE -- Robinson Cano became the third second baseman in Major League history to hit 300 home runs in his career when he launched a solo shot off Rangers reliever Keone Kela in the bottom of the ninth inning in Thursday's 4-2 loss at Safeco Field.Cano had a special fan
SEATTLE -- Robinson Cano became the third second baseman in Major League history to hit 300 home runs in his career when he launched a solo shot off Rangers reliever Keone Kela in the bottom of the ninth inning in Thursday's 4-2 loss at Safeco Field.
Cano had a special fan in attendance as his mom, Claribel, had flown in from the Dominican Republic earlier this week.
"I didn't know she was coming," Cano said. "I was home watching TV on Sunday [night] and said, 'What is this car doing coming in at this time?' It was 11:30. When I saw her jumping out of the car I said, 'What are you doing?' and she said, 'I came here to watch your 300th home run.' It's always good to see your family, especially your parents."
His mom watched Cano join Jeff Kent (377) and Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby (301) as the only second basemen in the 300 Club as he blasted a 438-foot shot to straightaway center field at Safeco. It was his third-longest homer of the season.
Cano became just the 12th active Major Leaguer at any position with 300-plus career homers, a group teammate Nelson Cruz also joined earlier this season.
Cano's 22nd home run of the season was his first long ball since Sept. 2 against the A's, but he's batted .360 this month with 15 RBIs. The eight-time All-Star said he hadn't felt pressure building despite going 15 games without a long ball.
"Not really," he said. "I have been hitting the ball the other way and using the whole field. I wasn't trying to hit homers, just trying to help the team win games. That's the goal. Even that at-bat, I wasn't trying to hit a homer."
Cano becomes the 16th player in MLB history with 300 home runs while also owning a career batting average of .300 or better along with 1,000 runs, 2000 hits, 500 doubles and 1,000 RBIs. That prestigious group also includes Mariners hitting coach Edgar Martinez, as well as Hank Aaron, George Brett, Jose Cabrera, Lou Gehrig, Todd Helton, Hornsby, Chipper Jones, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Jose Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Babe Ruth, Al Simmons and Ted Williams.
"It means a lot," Cano said of the milestone. "In a humble way, those are things that make me proud of myself, proud of my parents and family and the way they've raised me to be able to get to this level.
"That's something that is going to keep making me work hard every single day to come here and be able to keep helping this team win games. It was good to get that 300th, but bottom line we lost the game and that's not really fun."
Cano is well shy of the career-high 39 homers he hit last year, but manager Scott Servais figures maybe the 34-year-old can relax now that he's reached the 300 mark.
"It's a phenomenal accomplishment," Servais said. "Nelson did it earlier this year with his 300th and now Cano. He's a special, special talent and, you know, it's been a grind for him in the second half. I know he's a little disappointed.
"He's hasn't had the typical second half that he's used to having, certainly with the power numbers. But he smoked the ball tonight and hopefully that will kind of jump start him because he's a big, big part our offense."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.