Cano notches 1,000th RBI, then belts slam

Cano notches 1,000th RBI, then belts slam

SEATTLE -- What a "grand" night it was for Robinson Cano.

First was history, then came a bit of hysteria and then came the loud sound of redemption, all in the span of seven innings of a nine-inning, 11-1 rout of the Houston Astros on Tuesday night at Safeco Field that allowed the Mariners to improve to 11-9 this season and stay in first place in the American League West.

Grand slams mean 40% off pizza

With two outs in the fifth inning, the second baseman blooped a single to left field off reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, scoring two runs for Cano's 999th and 1,000th RBIs as a Major Leaguer.

The two RBIs gave the Mariners a 4-0 lead that quickly grew to 5-0 when Cano got caught between first and second while Norichika Aoki sped home, prompting an errant throw to the plate by Houston first baseman Tyler White.

"They showed it on the board today before the game, and I told [coach] Manny [Acta], 'Man, I need that ball if I get two RBIs today,' because those are the memories that you can share with your kids. … To get a single to go up by four runs, that's pretty special," said Cano.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Cano and other #ASGWorthy players

Cano, a six-time All-Star and winner of five Silver Slugger Awards in his 11-year career, spent his first nine seasons with the New York Yankees before signing with Seattle in December 2013. He became the fifth-fastest second baseman to reach 1,000 RBIs in his career, doing it in his 1,708th game. And then, in his next at-bat in the seventh, Cano became the fifth-fastest second baseman to reach 1,004 RBIs, belting his 10th career grand slam.

"Big hit to left field, the two-run single, then the grand slam, and there was some other stuff in between that," Mariners manager Scott Servais said with a smile.

Servais was referring to what Cano did -- or, more accurately, did not do -- while playing defense in the seventh. With a runner on first base and one out, Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez hit a hard ground ball to Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte. Marte fielded it cleanly and tossed to Cano, who crossed second base for the forceout and had plenty of time to complete an inning-ending double play.

Cano, however, thought there were three outs and did not throw to first. Mariners starter Nathan Karns got out of the potential jam by striking out Luis Valbuena to end the inning, but Cano was well-aware of what he had done after the game.

"That can't happen," Cano said. "That's a situation where you have to pay attention to the game. Thank God we were winning 5-0. In another situation where it's a close game, the other team is going to take advantage of that. Good thing Karns came up with the strikeout of Valbuena."

And good thing Cano, who admitted he'll likely face the wrath of Kangaroo Court for this infraction, gave Karns four more runs to work with in the bottom of the frame.

"I had to pay him back," Cano said with a smile. "I've been in this game so long, and that can't happen. There's no excuse for that. Thank God I came through in the next inning to deal with it and hit a homer."

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.