Cano sits out again with abdominal strain

Mariners second baseman hopes to return, at least as DH, on Friday

Cano sits out again with abdominal strain

MINNEAPOLIS -- Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano sat out his second straight game Thursday to rest a strained abdominal muscle, but manager Lloyd McClendon hopes he'll be able to at least play designated hitter by Friday.

Cano said the muscle hurts when he runs, but he can swing the bat and turn his body without pain.

"It's still a little sore," Cano said prior to Seattle's series opener against the Twins. "But this will be two days of rest and we'll see how it goes from there."

Cano had been heating up over the past month, hitting .348 over his last 17 games to hike his average to .263. Nine of his 11 home runs this season have come in his last 31 games.

McClendon said the plan is to ease Cano back in at DH for a few days before he returns to second base. Chris Taylor started at second base Thursday with Brad Miller at shortstop, flip-flopping from Wednesday's alignment.

Cano has been a workhorse over the years, playing at least 157 games each of the last eight seasons. Thursday was the fourth game he's missed this season. He said the abdominal muscle issue came up in Tuesday's game against the D-backs.

"I felt it the day before a little bit," he said. "But [on Tuesday], the center fielder hit a ground ball that I had go to my left. I went home and at 4 or 5 in the morning, I was sitting in bed and I felt it. I wasn't that concerned, but when I tried to run yesterday I could feel it."

Worth noting

• First baseman Logan Morrison was also sidelined Thursday by a sore thumb after jamming his hand on a swing in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 8-2 loss to the D-backs. Morrison is day-to-day, according to McClendon.

• Left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush threw a bullpen session before Thursday's game at Target Field as he returns from left triceps tendinitis that has had him on the 15-day disabled list since July 9. Furbush will throw another bullpen session on Sunday and then a decision will be made whether he'll throw a simulated inning or go out on a rehab stint.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.