When Robinson Cano returned to the dugout in the seventh inning after hitting his 19th home run of the season, one of his teammates told Cano he was on the verge of making history.
“You need a single for the cycle,” he told Cano.
“I don’t remember who it was, but they said, ‘You need one more hit,’" Cano said. “And I said, ‘We’re in the eighth inning already.’ I would’ve been batting seventh.”
Cano never did get a chance to complete the cycle, finishing 3-for-4 with a double, triple, homer, two RBIs and two runs scored in the Yankees’ 9-3 victory over the Angels.
But to him, it didn’t matter. All that mattered was the win.
“I didn’t really think about the cycle,” Cano said. “I just worry about winning games. That’s all that matters to me.”
The last Yankee to hit for the cycle was Cano’s good friend and former teammate Melky Cabrera, who accomplished the rare feat on Aug. 2, 2009.
“For me, it’s not on my mind,” Cano said. “But when you’re in the game, you’d love to do it.”
Cano also finished a single short of the cycle on Sept. 15, 2005, at Tampa Bay.
THAT GUY: Rafael Soriano has become a more-than-capable seventh-inning guy for the Yankees.
Since his return from the disabled list on July 29, Soriano has pitched five perfect innings.
On Wednesday night, he relieved starter Ivan Nova in the seventh with the bases loaded, no men out and the Yankees holding a 7-2 lead.
Soriano wound up inducing Peter Bourjos to ground into a 6-6-3 double play, and followed that up by getting Jeff Mathis to fly out to left, which limited the damage to just one run.
“I think he’s back to himself,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Sometimes coming here can be an adjustment. I’m not saying that’s what happened for him, but what he did in the seventh inning was huge for us.”
DEBUT BLUES DEBUNK: Entering the game, the Yankees had lost six straight against pitchers making their major league debuts. Angels starter Garrett Richards couldn't stretch that streak to seven. Richards took the loss on Wednesday, allowing six runs on six hits (two homers) in five innings.
The Yankees hadn't beaten a pitcher making his big league debut since May 1, 2004, when they topped Kansas City's Eduardo Villacis in a 12-4 win.