Cano's 4th HR in 2 games clears batter's eye

March 28th, 2016

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano launched his fourth home run in the past two days with a monster blast over the batter's eye in center field at Peoria Stadium on Monday, helping Seattle to a 6-4 win over the Royals.

Cano hit three homers with seven RBIs on Sunday against the Cubs in Mesa, then stayed hot with another big fly -- his seventh of the spring -- in the fifth inning off Royals right-hander Kris Medlen.

Cano underwent double hernia surgery after the end of last season and said he's feeling much better this spring, a fact driven home again by a 2-for-3 day that lifted his Cactus League average to .388 (18-for-49) with 16 RBIs in 16 games.

Teammate Nelson Cruz hit his fourth homer of the spring as well as the Mariners continued warming up for their regular-season opener next Monday at Texas.

First-year manager Scott Servais marvels at what a fully healthy Cano is capable of doing. His fifth-inning blast on a 2-2 pitch from Medlen sailed over the 30-foot wall in center, which is 410 feet from home plate, a feat achieved only a few times in stadium history.

"Wow, that was a bomb," Servais said. "I know the wind was blowing, but both the ball he and Cruz hit [were crushed]."

Medlen had cruised through three scoreless innings before Cruz's bolt, and he wound up allowing four runs (two earned) before being pulled with one out in the fifth.

"I changed fastball grips in the middle of my windup to Nelson Cruz for some reason. I have no idea why," Medlen said. "But, gosh, I've seen him do that a lot of times. Never to myself, but, yes, I've seen that before. And then to get in a little bit of a jam and have to challenge Robbie Cano, 2-2, 3-2. You're not going to win a lot of those battles, really. They're two really good hitters."

The seven home runs shatters Cano's previous spring best of four, set in 2009 while with the Yankees, and he totaled just one home run over the past two springs for Seattle.

The 33-year-old also singled in the first and saw a string of five straight hits snapped when he ripped a hard line shot right at second baseman Christian Colon in the third. Servais replaced him after his blast in the fifth.

"That was going to be his last AB anyway," Servais said. "But he's feeling really good right now. He's seeing the ball great, his swing is on time. We just need to keep him right there for when we get to Arlington."