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Yanks’ Cano battling slump for the ages

Mon., Oct. 15, 2012, midnight

NEW YORK – Hitless at the plate, Robinson Cano isn’t getting a break with the umpires, either.

The slumping All-Star second baseman could only plead his case to no avail Sunday after a missed call by an umpire helped the Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 3-0 Sunday.

And just like that, the Tigers once again tagged the Yankees, taking a 2-0 lead in the American League Championship Series.

An MVP-caliber player for much of the summer, Cano has been a playoff bust.

He is hitless in a postseason record 26 straight at-bats and 2 for 32 overall (.063). His failure to run hard out of the batter’s box has become glaring. And he let the ball pop out of his hand in the seventh inning, allowing Detroit’s first run to score.

Then he wound up on the wrong side of a call by second base umpire Jeff Nelson, who missed seeing Cano tag Omar Infante. Instead of the third out, the Tigers turned it into a two-run eighth and expanded their lead.

A week shy of his 30th birthday, Cano is looking forward to a nine-figure contract when he can become a free agent after next season. Instead of boosting his resume, he’s become a big factor in transforming the Bronx Bombers into Bronx Busts this month.

Cano grounded out four times Sunday, and his 0 for 4 broke the previous mark of 0 for 24 for a single postseason set by Baltimore’s Bobby Bonilla in 1996, according to STATS LLC.

By the end of the game, fans were booing him as loudly as they jeered Alex Rodriguez.

The Yankees got just four hits, giving them a .205 playoffs average.


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