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Seattle Mariners

Cano has 3 HRs, 7 RBIs in Mariners’ 12-9 win over Cubs

Associated Press

MESA, Ariz. – After Robinson Cano homered in each of his first two at-bats, Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais heard a fan throw out a challenge:

“You hit one to right, you hit one to left. Let me see you hit one to center.”

“And he did,” Servais said.

Cano had three home runs and seven RBIs to help the Mariners outlast the Chicago Cubs 12-9 Sunday in a game that was delayed for several minutes by a swarm of bees in center field.

Cano had a two-run and a three-run homer off Cubs starter Jason Hammel, who allowed nine runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Cano added a two-run shot off Trevor Cahill in the eighth and finished 4 for 4.

“Wow,” Servais said. “It was a pretty special day.”

Cano, who had a variety of ailments last season, said, “I feel different now. I feel I’m able to use my hips.

“It feels good to play the game on the level you want.”

Servais called Cano “a special, special player” who was bothered by injuries at times last season.

“He’s got that bounce in his step back,” Servais added. “This guy is out to prove something. It’s been fun to see.”

The Cubs hit three homers against Mariners starter James Paxton.

One came from Jason Heyward in the third inning, moments after he climbed the fence in center to avoid the bees. Addison Russell added a three-run homer in the third, and Dexter Fowler went deep to lead off the first.

Chicago’s Matt Szczur hit a solo homer in the ninth.

Seattle’s Seth Smith made it 9-7 with a two-run double in the fifth.

Bee attack

The bees appeared in center field in the top of the third inning.

Heyward, his hands swatting continually, jogged to several spots in the outfield and even climbed up on the fence to avoid them. At the end of the inning, Cubs relievers abandoned their bullpen in left field when bees swarmed a chair in their pen. They walked across the field and joined the Mariners relievers in the right-field bullpen.

“It was wild,” Hammel said. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”