Cano scratched in series opener vs. Toronto

Cano scratched in series opener vs. Toronto

TORONTO -- An injury-plagued Mariners squad took another setback about two hours before Thursday's 7-2 loss against the Blue Jays when second baseman Robinson Cano was scratched from the lineup and replaced by utility infielder Mike Freeman.

Cano has been dealing with a sore quadriceps muscle in his right leg the past few days. He was pulled in the fourth inning of Tuesday's game in Philadelphia after feeling the muscle tighten up as he pulled into second with a double.

The 34-year-old played in Wednesday's series finale against the Phillies and went 4-for-5 with a walk, three RBIs and his eighth homer of the season. Cano also homered in Tuesday's game and has batted .349 (29-for-83) with 17 runs, 20 RBIs and seven homers in his last 21 games.

Cano's opposite-field home run

Cano's situation is believed to be day-to-day, but the Mariners won't want his bat out of the lineup for long as they've relied on their offense to carry the load recently with the rotation racked by injuries.

The Mariners are missing four of their original five starters with Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma and Drew Smyly all on the disabled list, along with standout rookie outfielder Mitch Haniger.

Heading into Thursday's game, Cano has put up a .296/.362/.533 line in 34 games and leads the team in home runs. He was tied with Jean Segura for the most runs (21) heading into Thursday and one behind Nelson Cruz for the most RBIs with 28.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.