SEATTLE -- Robinson Cano has been one of Major League Baseball's most durable players over the past seven seasons, but the Mariners second baseman was forced out of Seattle's lineup for a third straight day on Saturday by a bruised left hand.
Cano played at least 159 of the 162 games every year since 2007 with the Yankees. This is the first time he's been out of the starting lineup for three straight games since Aug. 6, 2006, when he concluded a 35-day stint on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
Cano's current injury isn't nearly as serious, and manager Lloyd McClendon said there was some chance Cano might be available to pinch-hit on Saturday night against the Tigers if the trainers indicated continued improvement.
Cano was unavailable to the media as he underwent treatment, but said through a Mariners spokesman that "I'm a little bit better than yesterday. Otherwise, I don't know what I can say."
Cano bruised the area between his thumb and index finger in an at-bat earlier in the week.
"Just a bat jammed in there," McClendon said. "It happens to everybody. Some guys get it worse than others."
Cano went 0-for-4 and grounded into two double plays in his last start Wednesday against the Angels and then missed his first games of the season on Thursday and Friday. He was third in the American League with a .327 average going into Saturday's games and is second on the Mariners with 31 RBIs.
Since 2007, Cano has played in 1,172 out of a possible 1,188 games.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.