Nova brings the gas, Cano drives

NEW YORK -- Ivan Nova did the pitching.

And Robinson Cano provided the offense.

Cano gave Nova all the run support he needed Saturday, producing a first-inning RBI double and an eighth-inning solo home run in the Yankees’ 2-0 victory over the Orioles at the Stadium.

Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano

#24 2B
New York Yankees

2013 STATS

  • GM134
  • HR25

  • RBI89

  • R72

  • OBP.388

  • AVG.309

Nova ended up throwing the first complete-game shutout of his career. But just as important was Cano’s impact. The All-Star second baseman looks just fine after injuring his hand Tuesday in Toronto.

“Thank God it was all on the muscles,” said Cano, who was struck by a pitch from J.A Happ. “I’ve been getting treatment the last 3-4 days, and it’s feeling really good.”

Cano drilled his 25th homer off Troy Patton into the right-field seats. It was his 202nd career homer as a Yankee, tying Bill Dickey for 15th place on the franchise’s all-time list.

“It was a slider,” Cano said. “Yeah, I hit that one pretty good.”

Since Alfonso Soriano joined the Yankees on July 26, Cano has started to heat up. In that span, he’s hitting .333 with four homers and 19 RBIs. “In the beginning of the season everything was like away and they made me chase pitches,” Cano said.

Not with the red-hot Soriano protecting him. “That’s the last guy you want to face with runners in scoring position,” Cano said of Soriano, who has hit 12 homers in 33 games since being traded to the Bronx.

Manager Joe Girardi is hopeful Cano can put the Yankees on his back in September. “He’s a guy that can carry a club for a month,” Girardi said of Cano.

Cano said his mind remains focused on baseball, not cashing in on a long-term contract.

As long as he keeps this up, he’ll be just fine financially.

• The Yankees have won a season-high six straight home games. ... They improved to 7-7 against Baltimore on the season and will go for the sweep Sunday.