ATLANTA – The Seattle Mariners are hoping Robinson Cano avoided a serious injury when he was pulled with tightness in his left hamstring.
If Cano misses one or more games, Taylor Motter made a case that he can keep the offense moving.
Motter replaced Cano and gave Seattle the lead with a two-run single in the eighth inning, lifting the Mariners over the Atlanta Braves 9-6 on Wednesday night.
Cano pulled up approaching second base in the third inning after his second double of the game. The Mariners also lost center fielder Guillermo Heredia, who left in the eighth after being hit on his right forearm by a pitch from Jason Motte in the seventh.
“The initial signs are they’re going to be all right,” M’s manager Scott Servais said.
Servais said Cano had “pretty good strength” in the hamstring when tested. He said Heredia has been hit in the same spot “a couple times the last week or so.”
Motter had two hits, including a double.
“Hopefully, Robbie is not out, honestly I hope he is not out too long, but if he is I feel ready,” Motter said. “I feel good in the box and I want to help this team win a wild card.”
Kyle Seager added a three-run homer in the eighth inning off Dan Winkler.
After blowing a 4-3 lead in the seventh, the Mariners rallied against Jim Johnson (6-3) in the eighth. Motter’s single to center field drove in Jean Segura, who doubled, and Yonder Alonso, who walked.
David Phelps (4-5) recorded two outs in the seventh after coming off the disabled list. Edwin Diaz recorded the final four outs – including three strikeouts in the ninth – for his 29th save in 33 chances.
Johnson allowed four runs without recording an out. He was booed when leaving the game.
Johnson has allowed at least one run in four straight outings. Braves manager Brian Snitker said he tried to avoid using overworked relievers Jose Ramirez and Arodys Vizcaino.
“They’ve been working hard in the bullpen,” Snitker said, adding he was “hoping some of that might pay off today and it didn’t.”
Seattle’s Marc Rzepczynski gave up two runs to blow a 4-3 lead in the seventh.
The Mariners had at least one extra-base hit in each of the first five innings as R.A. Dickey gave up four runs and 11 hits in six innings.
Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez gave up three runs in six innings.
Ender Inciarte had four hits for Atlanta. Freddie Freeman drove in two runs with two hits, including a run-scoring single off Nick Vincent in the eighth.
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