NEW YORK – Robinson Cano had his fuzzy beard rubbed by Derek Jeter, got a huge grin from Mark Teixeira after a close play at first base and a whole bunch of hellos from his former teammates.
The fans, though, were less welcoming. They gave Cano a true Bronx cheer in his return to Yankee Stadium.
Cano didn’t mind, even claimed he didn’t hear the most harsh comments Tuesday night. He was just happy to have helped the Seattle Mariners beat New York 6-3 for their fourth win in five games.
“It was weird the first three or four innings,” Cano said after driving in a run and scoring another. “But I was happy that I could see all of them in the field and say hi to some of them.”
Amid lusty boos from a modest crowd on a rainy, 46-degree night, Cano began his first game in New York since joining Seattle this winter for $240 million with a wink – at Yankees starter CC Sabathia (3-3).
Cano got a mock cheer when he struck out to end the inning, then was met with chants of “You sold out!” from the Bleacher Creatures when he took his spot at second base.
When Cano grounded out to first base in the fourth, Teixeira flashed him a smile. The five-time All-Star was even booed when he cleanly handled a grounder.
“That’s something I can’t control,” said Cano, claiming he never heard the chant. “I’m not surprised. Just got to go out there and play my game.”
Chris Young (1-0) gave up a second-inning homer to Teixeira and not much else in 5 2/3 innings to earn his first win since 2012. Mike Zunino had a career-high four hits, one courtesy of a replay review that sparked a four-run fifth inning.
Fernando Rodney yielded an RBI single to Brett Gardner in the ninth before striking out Jeter and Carlos Beltran with two runners on base.
Cano really riled up the crowd in the fifth after driving in Seattle’s first run with a groundball to Teixeira with the bases loaded.
“Considering the place was half full they brought out their best boos,” Teixeira said.
Seattle’s big inning started with Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon winning a challenge on a bang-bang play at first.
Zunino, the catcher whose errant throw to second in the third inning on Gardner’s stolen base gave New York a 2-0 lead, was ruled to have beaten out a grounder to second base.
“I didn’t try to do too much, that’s the thing,” said Zunino, who had flu-like symptoms on the flight to New York. “Sometimes when you’re not feeling 100 percent, you don’t try and do too much and sometimes that’s the key to this game.”
Sabathia gave up a single to Willie Bloomquist and a bunt hit to Abraham Almonte to load the bases. Yankees second baseman Brian Roberts was playing near the bag and did not reach first to cover when Teixeira fielded the bunt.
Cano hit a sharp grounder to first for the run, Corey Hart followed with a two-run double and Justin Smoak made it 4-2 with a single.
Pinch-hitter Dustin Ackley and Zunino had RBI singles in the seventh, more than enough support to give Young his first victory since Sept. 2, 2012, for the New York Mets.