After an extended power slump, Robinson Cano shows signs of heating up as the Mariners attempt to mount a postseason push over the season’s final four weeks.
Cano ended a 35-game stretch without a homer Saturday in a 7-6 victory over Oakland, then followed that up Sunday against the Athletics with another two-run blast while getting four hits and driving in four runs.
"It feels good right now," he said. "Not only because I got some hits, but over the last week, since we've faced Atlanta, I’ve been feeling really good."
Cano scuffled along at .261 and had just 12 RBIs during his homer-less stretch. Pressed for an explanation, he pointed to various ailments with his lower body — he’s battled quadriceps and hamstring issues for much of the season.
"It just affects me when I have to wear the wrap around my legs," he said. "It’s so tight that I can’t stay back. But for me, if I can play at 70 percent, I want to be in there."
While a 70-percent Cano is probably better than any alternative the Mariners have, it’s still a 70-percent Cano. His importance to the lineup is hard to overestimate.
The Mariners are 15-4 when he hits a homer and 28-19 when he drives in a run.
"Obviously, it’s great to see Cano get going again," manager Scott Servais said. "That’s going to be huge for us moving through September."
Cano has a history of finishing strong. His .322 average and .891 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) for September/October are his highest monthly averages.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners