Cano returns at DH, will play 2B in Colorado
MINNEAPOLIS -- Robinson Cano was healthy enough to play designated hitter in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Twins, but the six-time All-Star won't return to duty at second base until the team heads to Colorado for an Interleague series at the start of next week.
Cano missed three games with an abdominal strain, but worked out prior to Saturday night's game with trainer Rick Griffin and was cleared to return in a limited role at DH. Cano went 0-for-4, but drove in Seattle's initial run on an groundout in the first inning.
"I'm sure he could [play second in an emergency]," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "It doesn't hurt to play the field, but his biggest challenge is running. It's not swinging the bat or fielding, it's running.
"The ideal," McClendon said with a grin, "would be to just hit it out of the ballpark and jog around the bases."
The Mariners will let rookie Ketel Marte handle the second-base duties until Cano is full-go. McClendon said the plan is for Cano to return to the field on Monday or Tuesday against the Rockies.
• First baseman Logan Morrison returned from a bruised left thumb that he jammed on Wednesday. Morrison pinch-ran for Jesus Montero in the seventh and stayed in the game for defensive purposes. He wound up striking out in the ninth.
• Lefty reliever Charlie Furbush, on the disabled list since July 9 with biceps tendinitis, will throw a bullpen session on Sunday in Minnesota and again Tuesday in Colorado. If all goes well, he'll head out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday and either need one or two appearances with the Rainiers before rejoining the Mariners.
• When Taijuan Walker held the Twins to one hit with 11 strikeouts in a 6-1 win on Friday, he became the third pitcher in Mariners history to throw a complete game with one hit or less and 10-plus strikeouts. Randy Johnson did it three times and Felix Hernandez accomplished the feat once, in his perfect game.
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Walker (at 22 years, 352 days old) is just the fifth Major Leaguer since 1969 to throw a one-hitter with 10-plus strikeouts before turning 23. The others: Dennis Eckersley (1977), Dwight Gooden ('84), Kerry Wood ('98) and Shelby Miller (2013).
• The Mariners tied for first in the American League in home runs in July (37) and were tied for second in doubles (51). Along with a pair of triples, the 90 extra-base hits ranked second in the Majors for the month behind the Tigers' 95, and their 419 total bases also were second to Detroit's 444.
• Nelson Cruz tied for fourth in the AL in home runs in the month of July with eight behind Angels outfielder Mike Trout (12) and Yankees sluggers Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira (nine each). Cruz's 27 total home runs through the end of July are the 10th most in Mariners history and most since Bret Boone had 28 going into August in 2003. Ken Griffey Jr. had 30 or more homers through July six different times and Rodriguez and Jay Buhner did it once.